Good airflow is important in any home. Fresh air prevents the build-up of chemicals and odours and helps to reduce humidity levels to stop condensation. Ensuring that your home has sufficient ventilation in key rooms can protect the fabric of your property and reduce your family’s exposure to allergens and dangerous chemicals including Volatile Organic Compounds, Mould Spores and Radon gas.
While all rooms in your home need some form of ventilation to refresh the air, building regulations for new homes specify that mechanical ventilation is required in bathrooms, kitchens, and WCs. If your home has a utility room with a washing machine or tumble dryer, you should also have some form of ventilation there too.
Whether you prefer a bath or shower, your washing habits contribute a large amount of water vapour into the air of your home, and without an extractor fan in your bathroom, this can lead to problems with condensation that in time will lead to the development of unsightly damp and mould patches.
Bathroom extractor fans should be mounted on an external wall as close to the ceiling as possible. The power required for your bathroom extractor fan will be dependent on the size of the room, but according to building regulations, should be able to extract at least 15 litres of air per second when in use. In most homes, the bathroom extractor fan will be on the same electrical circuit as the lights and will operate at the same time. Models such as the EnviroVent Cyclone 7 also feature a moisture sensor which detects the amount of water vapour in the air and adjust the power accordingly. This means that they can be more energy efficient as they only operate as required.
Cooking and cleaning in the kitchen mean that water vapour will be released into the air throughout the day – think about the cloud of steam when you open the oven or dishwasher.
The moisture levels in kitchens can be higher than the bathroom in your home, and as such a more powerful extractor fan is required. If there is no extractor hood over the hob in your kitchen, building regulations for new homes require that at least 60l/s of ventilation is provided to control humidity and stop condensation. The fan should extract to the outside of your home and will normally be positioned opposite the door to ensure good flow of air into the room.
Using your kitchen extractor fan when cooking will help to stop the smells of food spreading into the rest of your home.
If your home has a utility room, the extractor fan should be capable of removing 30l/s to cope with steam from clothes drying. In a small toilet room with a washbasin, the amount of moisture in the air is usually lower than a full bathroom, and as such the ventilation needs are lower – 6l/s of air.
Many homeowners have chosen a whole house ventilation system. Positive Input ventilation (PIV) systems such as EnviroVent ATMOS can be retrofitted into an existing property. These use a central unit mounted in the loft to draw fresh air into the property from outside. Whole house systems have the benefit of creating airflow throughout your whole home which stops condensation in all rooms and prevents mould from growing. If you live in an area with high radon levels, PIV systems are recommended to control the concentration of Radon in the air and protect your family’s health.
If you have found condensation on your windows in the morning, or noticed patches of mould growing on your walls and ceilings, it is likely that your home has insufficient ventilation. Our local specialists can visit your home and carry out a FREE home survey that will determine what the cause of condensation in your property is and the best way to deal with it.
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