Over the years increased importance has been attached to insulating homes and cutting down on draughts. However it is also essential to ensure that our homes are adequately ventilated so that:
  • Gas and solid fuel appliances have plenty of fresh air.
  • There is good air quality within your home.
  • Condensation is kept under control.
The main types of ventilation control are:
  • Trickle vents, usually fitted in windows (also known as background ventilation).
  • Extractor fans. (Rapid ventilation) .
  • Ducted ventilation, including passive stack ventilation and heat recovery.
Of course you could just open a window, but this isn't always convenient if it's cold outside and it could pose a security risk.

In order to ventilate your home effectively you need to ensure that you have controlled ventilation. The aim is to create controllable ventilation while minimising uncomfortable draughts and heat loss. So, not only do you need to consider using the methods mentioned above, but you also need to cut down on unwanted ventilation too - or in other words, draughts. See draught proofing.

It is important to remember that however you choose to ventilate your home you need the following points need to be considered:

Trickle ventilation
  • Never block fresh air vents in windows or brick walls.
  • Trickle vents should be used with other forms of ventilation.
  • High rise flats are not suitable for trickle vents due to wind.
Extractor fans
  • Never disable fans or other mechanical systems.
  • Usually install extractor fans in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Extractor fans are most effective when located at a high level - window, ceiling or wall - away from source of fresh air sources such as trickle vents or internal doors.
  • Try and ensure fans are switched on before moisture is produced, i.e. before washing or cooking. If you forget, moisture could escape into other rooms and cause condensation.
  • Some extractor fans will switch on automatically when humidity reaches a certain level.
  • Some extractor fans can also draw warm fresh air back into the home to help reduce condensation.
  • Extractor fans do not cost a lot of money to run, so don't be worried about using them too often.
Passive stack ventilation
  • A passive stack vent is an alternative to extractor fans and has the advantage of using no electricity.
  • Passive stack vents open automatically when humidity reaches a certain level. It works continuously so there is no need to remember to switch on.
  • There are no running costs and a passive stack vent is silent in operation.
  • A passive stack vent is fitted in external walls or in ceiling of upper rooms, through the roof.
  • Passive stack vents are easy to install, but best as part of an overall refurbishment.
  • Depending on the layout of the rooms in the house passive stack vents may not always be suitable.
Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  • A mechanical vent with heat recovery provides whole house ventilation, which extracts warm air from kitchen and bathroom, passing it through a heat exchanger to recover heat before it's fed into living rooms and bedrooms.
  • Moisture is reduced at source and provides pre-warmed fresh air for the whole house with a mechanical vent with heat recovery.
  • Your home should be well sealed for mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to be really effective.
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is useful for improving indoor air quality for asthma sufferers.

Back to Energy Efficiency

Bookmark and Share

Live Chat Software by Click4Assistance UK
No Tags have been submitted for this page. Why not submit one?
What is a Tag?

Last updated:

Assigned review date:

Awaiting page content review by the allocated team

Page Section:
Energy Efficiency

Footer images
Resident Business The Council Visit Jobs #skip_navigation News A to Z Access Keys Homepage What's New Site Map FAQs Help Complaints Terms & Conditions Contact Us Search