Why is ventilation so important for buildings?

Ventilation is simply the process of removing stale air from an environment and replacing it with fresh air. This is especially important in a commercial building where people from all walks of life will be frequenting your property.

Without the addition of good quality ventilation, a building can become susceptible to things like stagnant air. Stagnant air is a breeding ground for bacteria and pollution. In fact, the air inside your property could become even more polluted than the air outside thanks to bacteria and carbon.

It is especially important to have the best quality ventilation system that money can buy if you have an HVAC system in your commercial or industrial property. The professional opinion is that it is actually the single most important aspect of your HVAC system.

The reason for this is because it has a direct influence on energy efficiency, as well as the air quality that is being pumped around your building. It also helps to filter out odours, gases such as carbon dioxide, and prevent respiratory issues.

Ventilation can also help to improve the heat recovery in your building by reclaiming energy from the air that has been expelled and using it to cool the incoming air. It is particularly important that you install ventilations in areas where lots of different people gather at once. These include work offices, shops, and educational facilities.

Types of Ventilation

There are two different types of ventilation used in buildings. These are mechanical (also known as forced) ventilation, or natural ventilation. Mechanical ventilation can be installed in buildings such as those used for commercial purposes. To gain a better understanding of the reasons you may need it and what it does, we want to break down the important points of it.

What is Mechanical or Forced Ventilation?

This type of ventilation is controlled by mechanical means such as fans. They are commonly used in commercial developments and controlled by air handling units. These are typically connected to the ducts within a building. These ducts supply fresh air and extract polluted air from inside a building.

It is common to see an air handling unit that comprises an insulated box. In this there is typically a set of filter racks, a fan, and oftentimes some heating or cooling equipment. It is also not uncommon to see sound attenuators and dampeners in there too. In particularly humid rooms there may even be a dehumidifier.

Ventilation is often included in air conditioning (or heating) systems. In this case, you may hear them being referred to as HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). The process of ventilation can actually reduce the need for so much heating and/or cooling. This is what makes it such an attractive feature, especially for commercial buildings.

The fitting of this type of system requires a specialist, as the mechanical workings can become very complicated. You must take into account many factors such as the interaction of the ventilation system with any natural ventilation, solar gain, and thermal mass.

Why is ventilation needed?

Ventilation is so important in ensuring that you have excellent air quality in your building. It can help to remove toxins, as well as harmful C02. As well as this, it can have a direct effect on the levels of humidity in a room or building. This, in turn, reduces condensation, making it less likely to cause issues such as damp. This has a knock-on effect on the health of people who visit the building, as excess humidity can cause respiratory issues.

Ventilation can also help to promote thermal comfort. This is especially important if you want to keep people attracted to your commercial building. Thermal comfort can help to improve productivity, as well as ensuring a more inviting atmosphere is achieved.

Who needs ventilation?

Any commercial property that has an adequate level of airtightness, as well as good quality building sealing will benefit from a ventilation system. However, if you do not have these things in place, ventilation will not have much of an effect. In fact, it will be like leaving a window open whilst your heater is running.

If you meet these criteria, then ventilation should absolutely be considered as a way of boosting energy efficiency, reducing issues such as damp, mould growth, and condensation, and creating an all-round more welcoming and comfortable environment.

Does a professional need to install ventilation?

It is very important that you hire a professional specialist to fit your HVAC or ventilation system. The fitting of it can become very complicated thanks to all the other factors that need to be considered.

Author: Gareth Whalley
Sharing my vast knowledge in the Air Conditioning and Mechanical services field especially in HVAC installation, service and maintenance across a broad range of sectors, including Healthcare, Education, Transport, Banking, Retail and Commercial developments.