The Importance of Ventilation in your home & How it impacts Insulation: A Guide for Irish Homeowners

When it comes to home energy upgrades, Ventilation is not usually the first thing that comes to mind, Insulation tends to be the first ‘go-to’ upgrade measure on the list.

While insulation is an essential part of any energy-efficient home and one of the first things that need to be looked at when upgrading your home,  it’s very important not to overlook the key role that ventilation plays, particularly when it comes to keeping your home healthy, ‘dry’ and comfortable.

Let’s have a look at the role proper ventilation plays in your home, the relationship between insulation and ventilation and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about ventilation in homes in Ireland.

What is Ventilation?

Ventilation refers to the exchange of indoor and outdoor air in a building. Good ventilation is essential for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and preventing the build-up of pollutants, moisture, and other contaminants.

Why is ventilation important in an insulated home?

Ventilation is actually essential in an insulated home to maintain healthy indoor air quality and prevent the build-up of moisture, pollutants, and other contaminants.

When homes are well insulated, or designed to be ‘airtight’ the high levels of Insulation required to achieve this can reduce the natural ventilation in a building, so it’s very important to balance insulation with proper and adequate ventilation to maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment as well as to control air quality and moisture levels in the home.

Do we really need Ventilation in a climate like Ireland?

Ventilation helps to control and maintain good air quality and also controls moisture levels, which is a common problem in Irish homes, particularly during the winter months. So it is a really important factor for Irish homes to have proper ventilation, particularly when the home is well insulated.

What happens if your home is poorly ventilated?

If your home is poorly ventilated, moisture can build up and lead to issues such as dampness, mould growth, and even structural damage over time.

When your home is tightly sealed it can be difficult for fresh air to enter and stale air to leave. This can result in a build-up of pollutants such as carbon monoxide and dust. Good ventilation helps to improve air quality by removing these pollutants and bringing in fresh air.

So it is really important to balance insulation with proper ventilation to maintain a healthy and comfortable home.

What are the signs of poor ventilation in a home?

Signs of poor ventilation in a home include stale or stuffy air, excessive moisture or condensation, mould or mildew growth, and the presence of unpleasant odours or pollutants.

These can lead to health problems such as respiratory issues, headaches, and allergies.

By understanding the relationship between ventilation and insulation and taking steps to improve both, you can create a comfortable and healthy home for you and your family.

What is the best type of ventilation system for a home in Ireland?

The best type of ventilation system for a home in Ireland depends on several factors, including

  • the size of the home,
  • the level of insulation installed in the home,
  • the number of occupants,
  • and the location of the property in terms of how exposed it is to the elements.

In order to determine the most suitable ventilation system for your home a detailed assessment / onsite survey is required.

However, before getting to that stage, the easiest way to get some expert advice is to book a free consultation call with us. 

During the call, we can determine what energy upgrades are most suited to your home, discuss the ventilation requirements, give you information on what grants you could qualify for, and you get the opportunity to get your questions answered. This is a free, no-obligation service and will give you the advice you need to move your project forward.

What are the different types of ventilation systems available?

There are several types of ventilation systems available including natural ventilation, central extract ventilation, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR).

Natural ventilation – refers to the exchange of indoor and outdoor air through open windows, doors, and vents.

Central Extract Ventilation – will still use natural ventilation provided by windows, etc, and uses extract in the wet rooms to pull in the fresh air and exhaust stale via the extracts in these wet room areas.

Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery refers to the use of fans, ducts, and other mechanical systems to move air in and out of a building. It does not require vents in windows.

It is a controlled system that works using a ‘heat exchange’ to recover heat from stale indoor air and use it to pre-warm fresh outdoor air before it enters the home.

This means that the fresh air coming into the home is ‘preheated’, so it requires less energy to bring it up to a comfortable temperature. This helps to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating costs MHR systems work well in homes with high levels of insulation and airtightness, as they help to prevent a build-up of moisture and pollutants.

They also provide a constant supply of fresh air, helping to improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of any health issues associated with poor ventilation.

Good ventilation helps to;

  • keep the air moving in the home,
  • reducing the risk of moisture build-up
  • helps to keep your home ‘dry’
  • helps with air quality
  • removes pollutants
  • helps to keep the home comfortable and healthy

 SEAI Grants for Ventilation

The SEAI offers grant allowances for ventilation upgrades as part of the One Stop Shop grant scheme.

The One Stop Shop involves a deep retrofit approach.

It offers a range of upgrade measures designed to transform your home all at once,  increasing your eligibility for maximum grant assistance. One Stop Shop grant projects are required to achieve a post-works BER rating of B2 (minimum).

If you would like some advice on upgrading your home, book a free consultation with the team today.



Free Home Owners Guide 

If you would like some further information about Home Energy Upgrades, Grant Allowances, and the correct process to upgrade your home successfully, you can download a copy of our Free Home Owners Guide here.