Do I need continuous ventilation?

  • Do I Need continuous ventilation?
  • Do you need to continuously breathe?

Here’s a hint. The answer to both questions is the same.

Yes, continuous ventilation is needed. Historically we relied on our leaky buildings to provide continuous ventilation but now that we are building tighter, we need to be more conscious of our need for fresh air, and implement a well-considered ventilation strategy to ensure a good outcome.

Firstly, let me backtrack a bit. An old house provided ventilation but not in a good way. Air leakage through gaps and cracks in the building envelope is uncontrolled and provides an air stream via dirty, and sometimes toxic, pathways. Breathing air entering via holes in the ceiling, walls, floor and attached garages certainly does not guarantee ‘fresh’ air. We should not be relying on these building defects to provide us fresh air.

Secondly, relying on windows to provide fresh air relies on the occupant remembering to do so at appropriate times. Mosty people are pretty lazy when it comes to opening windows, and in winter we are less likely to want to open the windows.

A good airtightness strategy applied to the building envelope enables the inside air to be contained. Once the inside air is contained it can be controlled. A 24hr mechanical ventilation system controls the air path and provides adequate fresh air for the health and comfort of the occupant.

Oh, and don’t forget, you’re still allowed to open your windows.

Lastly, ventilation isn’t just about fresh air for breathing, there is also a moisture management component……I’ll leave that for another post.