During the summer months it’s easy to throw the windows open and let fresh air flood into your home. But once the outdoor temperatures start to drop, how do you weigh up the importance of ventilation versus heating costs?
Firstly, why is ventilation important? According to Allergy UK, there are around 9,000 deaths a year in the UK attributed to indoor air pollution which can be 2-10 times higher than outdoor air. Dust mites, cleaning products, building and furniture materials in the home can aggravate certain conditions so it is important to minimise the risks posed by poor indoor air quality.
Ventilation in the home will help flush out chemicals in the air and also reduce dampness which in turn helps reduce the presence of dust mites, one of the main allergens in the home. Getting rid of damp will benefit the fabric of your home as well as it’s occupants.
For this reason, kitchens and bathrooms almost always have a mechanical vent system; an extractor hood in the kitchen and extractor fans in bathrooms are the most common. As air is extracted, it causes negative pressure inside the house, drawing fresh air in through air bricks, trickle vents, open windows etc. Because of this it is important to keep vents open / unobstructed where possible.
The importance of weather tightness in homes is vital to keep them energy efficient and a well designed and built home will balance out the two. For example, a draughty house isn’t necessarily a well-ventilated house. Air may move from a damp area of house into a dry area and therefore do little to reduce humidity in the home. Because of this, it is important to make use of the ventilation you have.
Our rooflight ranges have the option for opening vents. On a flat rooflight a vent can be fitted within the rooflight or the whole rooflight can open. On a double hipped rooflight for example, you can have sections that open completely. These can be operated manually using a pole, or they can be motorized and even have sensors fitted to open and close automatically depending on the weather.
A good architect and builder will be able to ensure your building is balanced between being air tight and ventilated. Ventilation systems in your home will keep you comfortable and your building safe. Use bathroom fans and extractor hoods when needed, don’t block vents from air bricks and use trickle vents when it is comfortable to do so.