September 04, 2017
As someone rightly said, “Home is not a place... it’s a feeling”
A home has more factors than just comfort and luxury; ventilation being high on the priority list. According to a lot of research reports, indoor air is often much more polluted than outdoor air. A comfortable home needs good ventilation much as it needs a smoke alarm or reliable heating system. Home could be filled with luxury items to fulfil your needs and could provide you technology to help you with your work at home, but good ventilation helps you multiply the comfort levels and ensure good air quality for you and your family.
Ventilation is more important in the modern homes which are being built today, than the houses built in the ancient times. The homes created earlier weren’t perfect works of architecture- for instance, the material used in building up the walls and roofs were such that they had minor cracks and crevices which helped the home breathe in and breathe out. The material used then like, mud, grains of sand, different types of soil, were porous and thus kept the house ventilated. But for this, there was a need for a gentle breeze and as we moved forward in time, our materials became sturdier and the breathing space for walls decreased exponentially. The walls that are now erected are targeted to provide a solid structure and not ventilation for homes. And this how the need of ventilation arose.
Ventilation in homes is becoming a very important point of study for architects as homes are being built on every piece of barren land and hence, it’s important to provide proper ventilation to exemplify comfort levels. Following are the common practices that one can use to improve ventilation in their homes –
Traditional ventilation method
This is the most traditional way of providing ventilation for homes all across the globe. Here there are no mechanical devices utilised and ventilation is purely based on traditional ways of providing cracks and crevices for the home to breathe. This is common because it doesn’t require any extra effort by either the architects or by the residents to either spend more or tweak the design of the home. This however is a traditional way to ventilate a home which relies largely on a gentle breeze blowing outside or a significant difference in temperature between the both sides of the walls. The reason being, with the aforementioned conditions, a pressure difference is created to circulate the air and create ventilation. But, for this ventilation method to work, the walls need to have natural cracks and openings which are impossible to achieve with modern materials and building techniques. Today the walls and the roofs are so built, as to not allow any external factor to hinder the lives inside hence any ventilation is a no-go for modern times.
Natural ventilation is the most common mode of ventilation in modern homes, where not a lot of money is spent and the design is more important. Here, the ventilation is carried out through a lot of sunlit windows provided in strategic locations, so as to help regulate exhaust and supply of air. In this technique, the sun coming through the windows help heat the air inside the house, which then gets lighter, rises up and cool air from the outside or other places rush in to take its place. This hot air has an outlet and the cool air has an inlet, through which it can gush in to take the place of hot air, thus providing very crisp ventilation with strong circulation of air. But again, on a dry and humid day, this type of ventilation is futile as it is dependent on a breeze blowing outside and a difference in temperature between the two sides of the windows.
Drain only ventilation
This type of ventilation is an exhaust only ventilation in which mechanical devices like an exhaust fan is stationed in rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms which are the sources of foul air and hence leaving the home with more space to fit in fresh air which can be circulated through windows. This type of ventilation is effective in a way to remove the air which can harm the atmosphere in a home and help in creating more space for fresh air. This is most effective in kitchens, above your cooking area to extract the smell and the fumes rising from the food being cooked. It’s also effective in bathrooms to not let the moisture settle down on the walls, the roof and floor, thus not allowing bacteria and fungi a chance to grow and contaminate the surrounding. However, it gets ineffective with no powerful supply of air against the mechanical exhaust system. This system is again effective if there’s a breeze blowing through the windows to replenish the air being extracted.
Inlet only ventilation
This type of ventilation is the exact opposite of the drain only ventilation method. This method helps the fresh air from outside to gush. There is no mechanical extraction method to drain out the air inside the house, but that is not a big issue as with fresh air coming in, the surrounding air inside the home can be extracted through open windows or cavities. However, generally people don’t open windows all around the year and are only comfortable to do so in the summers. This limits the effectiveness of this mode of ventilation and can cause the moisture laden air to be infused in the walls which can create a lot of problems.
This is the perfect mode of ventilation, if the residents are ready to shell out a little money. In this mode of ventilation, there is exhaust and supply fans situated at strategic locations to regulate the incoming of fresh air from the outer surroundings and extract the stale and moist air from the atmosphere inside the house. This is a balance mode of ventilation. The extraction fans are situated in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom while the inlet fans are situated in most lived areas like the living room and the bedrooms. This helps in creating a balance of the inlet and outlet of air and drives the ventilation of a house most effectively.
A well ventilated house is no less than a heaven as the surroundings inside always remain fresh and healthy and the family breathes easy. With the use of balanced ventilation or other mechanical modes of ventilation, we can assure regulated fresh air inflow in our homes. So, let’s keep our homes well ventilated and our families healthy.