Smart Ventilation Tips - Types Of Home Ventilation Systems - 20/03/2018
Considering how much time we spend in our homes, having a space that’s comfortable and healthy should be a top priority. Unfortunately, many New Zealand homes suffer from issues such as condensation and dampness. This not only makes our living spaces more uncomfortable but can also significantly compromise our health. Thankfully with proper ventilation systems many of these issues can be reduced or fixed altogether.
The importance of home ventilation
Proper ventilation in your home is important, but it’s easily overlooked until it becomes a bigger problem. With good ventilation a home will be a more dry, healthy and comfortable space as fresher, cleaner air is allowed in, and stale, damp air is able to escape. With fresh air being circulated it means moisture and airborne pollutants don’t have the opportunity to cause issues.
Many New Zealand homes are obviously plagued with issues relating to poor ventilation, with areas of damp, mould and condensation being easy to see. However, it’s not only older houses that have issues. In newer builds, which can be near airtight, moisture can find it hard to escape and it can remain trapped in hard to find places. With the damp trapped it can grow over time, remaining undetected until it causes major issues.
What are the main issues facing homes with ventilation problems?
A common symptom in homes with ventilation issues is condensation. New Zealand’s wet and humid environment means that our homes are particularly prone to condensation, and historically they’ve not been built to deal with this issue. Many of us are used to waking up to windows running with water, as well as slick window sills, walls and other surfaces. Left over time, this dampness can deteriorate paint and wallpaper, leading it to stain, peel or bubble. Worse still, condensation can be the cause of rot, meaning costly repairs.
While the moisture collects on cool surfaces like windows, it can also be absorbed by carpets, rugs, bedding, and furnishings, especially in areas near windows and walls. This will leave them feeling damp, and can also cause mould and musty odours — not exactly the ideal bedfellow. While those issues are enough to deal with on their own, dampness also leads to the growth of mould, which can be hard to stop in its tracks once it starts growing.
In a home with ventilation problems, it’s bad enough to deal with condensation, dampness, and mould, but what’s even worse is the toll that these can take on your family’s health. Severe respiratory illnesses, the ‘flu, colds and fatigue are just some of the issues that can be caused by poor ventilation in the home, due to airborne pollutants building up inside without an escape.
Many of these issues originate from your home’s smallest rooms and quickly make problems for the entire household. The bathroom, laundry and kitchen are the major moisture offenders, with bathing producing 1.5 litres per shower or bath, cooking and dishwashing being responsible for 4 litres per day and washing clothes 0.5 litre per wash. In fact, the average Kiwi household produces up to 8 litres of moisture at home every single day.
While these moisture producing activities are unavoidable (even breathing and sleeping produces litres of moisture!), they can be managed with good home ventilation systems, ensuring that issues of damp, mould, odour and illness are curtailed or avoided altogether.
Types Of Ventilation Systems
HRV has a number of different solutions to match what your home and your family need.
The HRV Next Generation is NZ’s #1 selling home ventilation system. It takes the drier, warmer air from your roof space, filters it with HRV’s nano-fibre filtration technology, and distributes it throughout the entire house.
Through the positive pressure ventilation system, the HRV Next Generation flushes out stale, damp air and allows fresh, filtered air from your roof space to replace it. This positive pressure system helps reduce mould, excess condensation and keep pollutants at bay, ensuring a healthier and drier environment for the whole family.
If you think your home may benefit from more ventilation, more often, then the HRV Plus will be your ultimate solution. The HRV Plus provides your home with more ventilation through three different modes that work harder to get rid of hidden damp and destructive mould that could ruin your home.
The Heat Exchange mode is perfect for winter and uses both positive and balanced pressure to evenly distribute energy in the household. A balanced pressure ventilation system uses two fans for two air streams, one which brings fresh outdoor air in via a ceiling vent, and an exhaust fan for expelling the stale indoor air. In winter the HRV Plus retains some of the heat from the stale air before expelling it, meaning your homes heat loss can be reduced. Talk about the best of both worlds!
The Daytime Cooling mode creates a balanced temperature, getting rid of stale, warm and humid air in summer and replacing it with fresh, dry air. And lastly, the Summer Night Cooling mode helps you during those hot sleepless summer nights. By making sure cool, fresh air from outside is regularly replacing the warmer air indoors all evening, the HRV Plus helps maintain a comfortable environment, 24 hours a day.
Smart Tips To Begin Ventilating Now
Before deciding on the best home ventilation system for you, there’s a number of ventilation tips that you can put in place right now. The NZ government encourages Kiwis to make ventilation part of a daily routine with this simple checklist:
- Open doors and windows to replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air
- Keep bedrooms ventilated at night by keeping windows slightly open
- Ensure your heating is turned off when you ventilate to avoid condensation problems
- Use extractor fans in high moisture areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry
Along with these ventilation tricks, you can also reduce the amount of moisture in your home by doing the following:
- Avoiding drying clothes indoors
- Using lids on pots when cooking
- Not drying clothes over radiators
- Ensuring tumble dryers are properly vented to the exterior of the house
All of these tips combined are a great start in helping your home feel drier and more comfortable.
About Installation, costs, and guarantees
After deciding to install a ventilation system, it can be hard to know whether to self-install or leave it to a qualified installer. While the option to self-install might be tempting, it can often lead to issues down the track if done incorrectly.
All HRV systems are fully installed by an HRV qualified installer, ensuring that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your newly ventilated environment.
For more information on what’s best for your home, our simple Home Solution Generator will help identify the best options for making the biggest impact on your home. After you’ve filled in the details you’ll be given immediate advice on best products for you as well as the approximate cost. Additionally, one of our experts will also follow up with a courtesy call to discuss any further queries you might have.
White, V & Jones, M. (2017) Warm, dry, healthy? Insights from the 2015 House Condition Survey on insulation, ventilation, heating and mould in New Zealand houses. Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.branz.co.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=50335e67bb00f3e0464097be1d4d71ac8a85f6bf
Positive pressure ventilation systems. (2017). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/ventilation/home-ventilation-systems/positive-pressure-ventilation-systems/
Balanced pressure ventilation systems. (2017). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/ventilation/home-ventilation-systems/balanced-pressure-ventilation-systems/
Dampness. (2017). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/dampness/
Ventilation Checklist. (2017). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.energywise.govt.nz/at-home/ventilation/ventilation-checklist/
Smart Guide Ventilation. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.smarterhomes.org.nz/smart-guides/air-quality-moisture-and-ventilation/ventilation/
PREVENT CONDENSATION BY MANAGING THESE SOURCES OF MOISTURE IN YOUR HOME. (12 May, 2017). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from https://www.hrv.co.nz/news/prevent-condensation-manage-these-sources-of-moisture-in-your-home/
HOME VENTILATION SYSTEMS - REDUCE THE OCCURRENCE OF CONDENSATION AND DAMP IN YOUR HOME. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar 13, 2018, from