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Whole House Ventilation System vs Room Ventilation | Handy Bros

Whole-House Ventilation System vs Room Ventilation

You might not realize it, but your home requires ventilation to help maintain indoor air quality and moisture levels. There are basically two types of ventilation systems in homes: 1) Whole-house ventilation systems and 2) Room ventilation systems. These systems use different operating methods including exhaust, supply, balanced, and energy recovery. If this sounds confusing, it doesn’t have to be. Here we help explain more about ventilation, with a comparison between whole-house and room ventilation.

What Does a Ventilation System Do?

Your home ventilation system removes contaminated, stale indoor air and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. It also helps manage moisture content in the air in your home. This is why your home probably has fans in the bathroom and kitchen. Proper ventilation limits your family’s exposure to airborne contaminants found in indoor air in every home and building.

What are the Benefits of Good Ventilation?

Good ventilation reduces pollutants in the home while helping maintain moisture levels in rooms like the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen. Since we can’t open the windows in the dead of winter, our homes require “mechanical” assistance to improve the quality without wasting energy. Good ventilation offers several benefits including:

  • A continuous supply of fresh outdoor air
  • More control over outdoor air
  • Reduced indoor contaminant potency
  • Reduced odours
  • Better control of relative humidity and moisture throughout the year

A proper ventilation system also helps improve energy efficiency.

Whole-House Ventilation Requirements

In Ontario, new homes require either a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) as of 2017. However, retrofitting an existing house with a ventilation system can prove effective. This requires professional assessment to ensure the home remains energy efficient, the ventilation operates safely, and the air quality is improved.

Two Types of Ventilation

That brings us to the two types of ventilation systems for your home:

1. Room Ventilation System

Single room ventilation systems continuously remove stale air from a room, bringing in fresh air to improve air quality. They are available in ceiling or wall mount models and can be ductless or connected to an existing duct system. The ductless room ventilation system is ideal in rooms such as extensions where ducts are not installed or basements where ceiling space is limited. This is one of the main applications for a room ventilation system.

2. Whole-House Ventilation System

A fresh air ventilation system for homes provides ventilation for every room in the house. They come in four types:

Exhaust: These systems are ideal for cold climates. They use a single fan and a centrally located exhaust point such as the attic, depressurizing your home.

Supply: This system uses a fan that pressurizes the home, forcing outside air into the home and allowing stale indoor air to leak through the walls as well as fans in the bathroom and kitchen.

Balanced: This system doesn’t pressurize or depressurize the home. It usually uses two fans and two duct systems with exhaust vents in the rooms you occupy most often. This usually includes bedroom and living room ventilation. They also manage moisture and pollutant heavy rooms like the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen. This is more expensive than an exhaust or supply system.

Energy recovery: This system is more controlled in its design, minimizing energy loss while improving ventilation. They transfer air, based on the outdoor temperatures to reduce heating and cooling costs. This option is also more expensive than an exhaust or supply system.

When it comes to price, keep in mind that despite balance and energy recovery systems costing more, they also offer more control. An energy recovery ventilation system also helps save on energy costs.

We can help you decide which system is right for your needs. For more information about whole-house ventilation systems, speak to our team today.