Gravity ventilation or recuperation?

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Properly functioning ventilation in homes allows you to bring fresh air into their interiors. People who renovate the old house or build a new one, however, face a dilemma, which solution to decide – mechanical or gravitational? So, in this article, we explain what both of these methods are and point out which one will work better

Why is ventilation used in buildings?

According to the Polish standard PN-83/B-03430, every building must be equipped with ventilation, which should provide a constant exchange of air. Well, it should. Theory itself, and practice itself. Very often it happens that ventilation does not work properly, and is after all an extremely important element

It is on it depends on the well-being of people residing in the premises, because it is responsible for the inflow of fresh air, thereby reducing the level of exhaled carbon dioxide

In addition, its absence may contribute to the formation of damp rooms, and in the worst case even the formation of mold and mildew. Today there are two methods of ventilation – gravitational and mechanical. What do they consist of? About it below

How does gravity ventilation work?

Gravity ventilation is considered the simplest and cheapest way to exchange air in buildings. Its use involves the construction of vertical ventilation channels, which are designed to carry away warm air from the upper layers of the interior to the outside

Its operation is based on the pressure difference generated in the ventilation duct under appropriate atmospheric conditions, which creates a draught of air. However, this solution works only under certain conditions such as

  • inflow of air from outside through leaky window frames or their opening,
  • the temperature inside is much higher than outside (this difference must be as much as 12 degrees Celsius).

How does mechanical ventilation work?

Mechanical ventilation, otherwise known as recuperation is responsible, as the name suggests for the mechanical extraction of used air from the premises and injecting them with new, fresh air. Its operation is based on the ventilation unit with a heat exchanger, which is responsible for supplying cool air in summer and warm in winter

This solution, therefore, requires the use of appropriate installation in each room, as well as expenditures on its maintenance, replacement of air filters used and incurring costs associated with the use of electricity. However, despite that it also has a number of advantages, which include, among others

  • constant air exchange regardless of weather conditions,
  • filtration of supplied air by means of special filters,
  • savings on heating as a result of recovering heat from the extracted from the interior with the air

Gravity ventilation does not work in modern homes

According to the opinion of many specialists, the use of gravity ventilation is a solution that does not meet its basic objectives. All due to the fact that for its proper operation it requires a leaky window frames – which is impossible in the case of modern windows, or open them – which is not done because of the large losses in heating

The graphic below illustrates exactly how both solutions work:

source: https: //–porownanie.html

As you can see above, in the case of mechanical ventilation, the air is not only removed from the premises, but also forced into them, thus ensuring its constant exchange without the need for human intervention in this process in the form of opening windows or doors

What’s more, the proof of the superiority of mechanical ventilation from gravity is, for example, that in the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries its use in single-family homes has long since become an obligation regulated by law.

Peter Bowers

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