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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The best type of ventilation system for a home in Ireland depends on several factors, including
In order to determine the most suitable ventilation system for your home a Home Energy Assessment is the best way forward. This will ensure that a ventilation system is designed to suit and accommodate all the above key factors and outline the grant options for this upgrade.
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 or suchlike. 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;
Yes, if you are upgrading your home under the One Stop Shop grant scheme, the SEAI gives an allowance towards Ventilation.