We are concerned about creating air-tight houses. After all, if we can keep air from entering and exiting the home, we’ll invest less in energy.
This objective, while well-intentioned, has actually sadly made indoor air quality a greater concern. This is due to the fact that when a house is air-tight, dust, chemicals, dander, and other kinds of indoor air contamination are trapped inside.
To develop cooler houses without compromising air quality, many people turn to natural ventilation, which is the process of moving air throughout the house without a fan or other mechanical systems.
Sounds like opening a window?
While the principles at play are very much the exact same, we’ll demonstrate that a natural ventilation system is more than simply a few open windows.
Mechanical vs Natural Ventilation: Meeting Two Particular Goals
When thinking about air-cooling and temperature level control options for your house or centre, there are two broad categories of systems you can utilize.
Most people use mechanical ventilation, also called forced ventilation, which would consist of air-conditioning systems, box fans, and entire home fans. The common aspect is these systems utilize mechanics of some kind to change or move air. They are generally connected to the house’s electric outlets.
Natural ventilation, nevertheless, does not use mechanical systems.
Why would you select to cool your house with natural ventilation?
It essentially boils down to two specific goals.
The primary reason for utilizing natural ventilation over mechanical ventilation is energy performance.
There is less energy usage because natural ventilation does not need energy usage through motorized fans. For practically all systems, there is actually no energy use; the system provides comfy air while being completely passive.
Energy efficiency, however, is manual when using natural ventilation. Natural ventilation needs to be utilized in a strategic fashion to be efficient. When used appropriately, however, it can help in reducing energy usage and energy costs for homes and businesses.
Indoor Air Quality
Another benefit of natural ventilation is much better indoor air quality. With mechanical air ventilation, the air basically stays inside your house.
An air conditioning system can cool the air and distribute it through the house, however, it won’t push indoor air contaminants outside like natural ventilation.
Natural ventilation provides fresh, healthy air inside your home.
Disadvantages of Natural Ventilation
The primary issue with natural ventilation is that you can’t control the driving factors. With a fan, you can set it to high, medium, or low, or you can just turn it off. With an a/c unit, you can set the temperature level to the specific number you choose.
With natural ventilation, nevertheless, the driving elements are outdoor winds, temperatures and humidity levels. You can’t change these elements, so the effectiveness of the system, as well as how frequently you can use it, depends entirely on the weather condition, and the ideal airflow rarely takes place for an extended period.
For obvious factors, this makes the use of natural ventilation more efficient in particular environments. Cold environments, for instance, usually can’t utilize natural ventilation in the winter season, decreasing their general efficiency.
The style of the building also matters. Unlike a switch on an a/c system, you can’t quickly alter the layout of a structure, making it even more challenging to reach the perfect conditions.
Kinds of Ventilation
It might look like a simple concept, however, natural ventilation is not as standard as opening the windows. While open windows do, in effect, create natural ventilation, the idea refers to a type of deliberate structure and home style for natural ventilation, with specific functions, that are planned to produce better air circulation.
Cross (aka Wind-Driven)
Cross, or wind-driven ventilation, is the impact that occurs when you open the windows and enable the breeze to cool your home. When wind strikes the side of the house, it produces a positive pressure versus the wall, while unfavourable pressure is developed on the opposite side. If windows are open, the distinction in pressure forces air through the building, developing natural ventilation.
There are many variables that will impact the quantity of air that is pushed into the building. Wind speed, for one, will alter the air that is being pushed into the home; wind instructions is also important. It will create better ventilation through the house if the air is striking the home at a direct angle.
The structure layout will likewise affect the ventilation. The types and dimensions of the building can change how well air flows into the interior, and window shape and size will likewise make a difference.
Stack (aka Buoyancy-Driven)
The other type of natural ventilation is called the stack or buoyancy-driven ventilation. Instead of having openings on either side of the structure, this type has openings in low and high vents. With stack ventilation, you are depending on the temperature level distinctions between air inside the structure and air outside to create air movement.
With stack ventilation, you have an opening at the bottom and top of the centre or home. Presuming the air is cooler outside, the outdoor air will stream in and the warm air, because of buoyancy, will increase. This naturally develops an upward circulation as the warm air escapes through the top and is replaced by cool air at the bottom.
The finest positioning for outlets is high up on the opposite wall, creating almost complete air circulation. (If the inlet and outlet are on the exact same wall, the opposite side of the space will not get as much air circulation.).
The advantage of stack ventilation is that it is not entirely dependent on the wind. The system will continue to supply air ventilation even if the wind is not present since buoyancy is the driving force.
Designing Considerations: Developing Better Ventilation and Convenience
When developing a house or business for natural ventilation, it’s insufficient to just include bigger windows. Instead, you require to believe tactically to produce a more effective facility.
You can look to the outside area. Don’t crowd the consumption location with bushes, trees, fencing, or other obstructions that will affect inward airflow. It’s helpful to have inlet and outlet locations on opposite sides and, if using stack ventilation, as low and high as possible.
When building the house, it helps to have actually the inlets located on the side of the house that will get one of the most wind. Depending upon where you live, this will frequently be along the northwest side of the structure, which offers the very best opportunities for direct airflow during the summer season.
Since the objective of natural ventilation is to offer cooler interior temperatures, it helps to take steps that reduce heat gain. Utilizing old-fashioned strategies like shady trees to reduce sun exposure on roofing systems and walls certainly assists, but you can likewise execute steps such as light-coloured building materials and paints.
How you arrange the home can likewise make a distinction. Ensure the inlets are not covered by furniture or house accessories, as this will obstruct the flow of air, and attempt to avoid straining the spaces with furnishings. Consider the air circulation as a river and furniture as large boulders. A few large boulders won’t stop the river from flowing, however, they will slow it down. Put in a lot of, and you eventually produce a dam. Giving an open space, nevertheless, will increase the chances of swift and consistent flow.
Technologies to Increase Ventilation
The system consists of a home or structure, a tower with vents at the top, and underground piping that pulls outside air into the home. The cooled air then streams into the home, producing a cool living space. To force the air circulation, the structure has a chimney that is generally painted black to heat up the outgoing air.
Solar Attic Fans
While technically not a pure kind of natural ventilation, a solar attic fan can cool your attic area without the requirement for electrical power. The power source for the fan is from the solar panels that become part of this system. This generally works by pulling the heat from your attic so your home no longer has a heat source in the attic area.
Also called wind catchers, a wind tower is a type of structure that has actually been used given that the ancient Egyptians. These are basically structures with numerous openings on specific sides of the structure. They have a tower with vents at the top, which produces a stack-ventilation impact. One of the interesting elements of wind towers is that they are typically linked to a qanat, which is an underground canal. Through pipelines, outside air flows into the qanat are cooled versus the water, and flows up into the wind tower, developing a cool home.
Trickle ventilators are a kind of opening that is really small, permitting a slight amount of air to enter the facility. They permit natural ventilation when other aspects, such as doors and windows, are sealed. When outside temperatures are cold, the objective with trickle vents is to allow for natural ventilation.
Air Purifiers and Natural Ventilation
Natural ventilation can be efficient for moving damaging chemicals and dust to the outdoors, but you may still need an air purifier to improve the air quality in your home. If you are utilizing an indoor air cleanser while utilizing natural ventilation, it’s finest to position the purifier someplace near the inlet so it can clean the air as it gets in the home.