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DUCO: The consequences of poor or insufficient ventilation

Construction or renovation projects should take into account a well-functioning ventilation system. Indeed, good ventilation has numerous benefits that ensure a healthy indoor climate. This article gives an insight into the consequences of poor ventilation and how to ventilate adequately.

These days houses are increasingly well insulated. Where fresh air used to come through seams and cracks, these are now sealed. Insulation alone is therefore not enough to enjoy a comfortable indoor climate without wasting heat and energy. Indeed, it is best to put ventilation right at the top of the to-do list. After all, you get a lot of benefits for both home and health.
So what exactly happens when you do not ventilate, or ventilate insufficiently or poorly?

Effects on overall health
Insulating your home and making it airtight without proper ventilation creates a reduced indoor air quality. Fresh air does not enter and stale air is not removed to the outside.
Possible consequences:
• Increased risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies
• Increased risk of developing respiratory problems
• Possible effects on the immune system

Effects on physical and mental performance
We have all experienced this at some time. Sitting in a stuffy room where you start to feel short of breath. You might also feel lightheaded. Your concentration drops and a headache comes on. Typical symptoms when you spend too long in a poorly ventilated room.
Possible consequences:
• Negative impact on productivity, concentration and cognitive function
• Negative impact on sleep and mood
• Lack of energy

Mould and moisture problems
We spend 90% of our time indoors. So when we breathe in and out we slowly replace the fresh, oxygen-rich air inside with stale air that has high levels of CO2. In addition, the humidity also increases, such as when showering. Without proper ventilation in the house, mould and moisture problems develop.
Possible consequences:
• Damage to the structural health of the home
• Moisture problems and persistent mould patches
• Harm to your health and that of your housemates (see consequence 1)
• Risk of CO poisoning

Impact on energy consumption
Poor or insufficient ventilation can have an impact on energy consumption. In homes with poor ventilation, it can be difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. With insufficient ventilation, warm air lingers in summer, which can lead to overheating and the need for more cooling. In winter, a lack of ventilation can allow cold air to enter, requiring more heating. This results in a higher energy consumption for both heating and cooling, and consequently higher energy bills.
Possible consequences:
• Negative impact on heating and cooling systems
• Cost increase and inefficient energy consumption

So how do you ensure good ventilation?

Zonal ventilation for maximum energy savings and time savings
Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that provide fully automatic ventilation. And that happens all day long, leading to the best air quality, a good night’s sleep and high productivity.
Our 3 suggestions for healthy and good ventilation:
• Zonal ventilation
• Mechanical ventilation
• Regular maintenance of the ventilation system

Zonal ventilation does not regard a house as a single unit but divides it into different zones. So with zonal ventilation you ventilate only those rooms where people are currently present. Moreover, this is done completely automatically. In other words: you save energy by ventilating only when and where it is needed as well as in the right amount. And you don’t even have to do anything for it.
DUCO ventilation systems ventilate only where necessary. As a result, they produce 30% less noise. Because they do not ventilate rooms that are not in use, these zonal ventilation systems also save up to 40% energy compared to traditional ventilation systems. This is good news not only for the environment, but for energy bills!

Continuous air renewal thanks to mechanical ventilation systems
The importance of mechanical ventilation has increased over the years. Nowadays, you are not even allowed to build without integrating this type of ventilation into the plans.
Mechanical ventilation ensures permanent, continuous ventilation. The system removes stale air and brings in fresh air. You can do this using a mechanical heat recovery unit or mechanical ventilation without heat recovery.
With mechanical ventilation (without heat recovery), stale air is extracted at central locations in the home through a ventilation unit and connected ventilation ducts. Fresh air then re-enters through window ventilators and/or windows. Just about all mechanical ventilation units are equipped with a humidity sensor whereby the unit automatically runs harder as soon as someone is cooking or in the shower.
With a heat recovery unit, the supply of fresh air to the house is via vents instead of window ventilators. So this mechanical ventilation system not only removes stale air, but also blows fresh outside air (heated or cooled) into the house.
Mechanical ventilation therefore means continuous air renewal and minimum energy consumption for a healthy indoor climate at all times.

Optimal maintenance of a ventilation system
Just as with the need to regularly inflate a bike’s tyres to ride smoothly, a ventilation system also needs regular maintenance. After all, if the filters, fans or ventilation ducts are not functioning properly, this will affect the operation of the ventilation system. And nobody wants stale air in their home, right?
Homeowners can easily maintain some parts of your ventilation system themselves. For example, they can easily clean inlets, outlets and extract diffusers, and vacuuming and replacing filters is also pretty straightforward. However, cleaning the fans and heat exchanger, inspecting and polishing the air ducts should be carried out by the installer or a professional.
The maintenance required depends on the type of installation system and its structure. Installers should be able to advise on how and how often to clean parts, and put together a maintenance plan for the parts that need to be cleaned by professionals.

Which ventilation system is good enough?
We have explained why a solid ventilation system is necessary. When determining the choice of ventilation system, its essential to be critical and understand which ventilation system suits the application.

Find out more at www.duco.eu/uk/products/mechanical-ventilation or visit stand 5C10 at InstallerSHOW.
Register for your free ticket here.

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