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A guide to home ventilation

In this series of ‘understanding retrofit measures’ blogs, we’ll be explaining different retrofit measures which can improve the energy efficiency of homes – reducing energy usage to cut energy bills and carbon emissions, and improve the comfort of your home.

We’ll include information on how the measure works, what types of homes it may be right for, what installation looks like, and more. In this post we’re looking at the role of ventilation.

Want us to cover a particular measure? Drop us an email to info@cosyhomeoxfordshire.org and we’ll see what we can do.

What is ventilation?

When we think of energy efficiency we may initially think of how to keep the heat in to reduce wasted energy. However, it’s just as important to look at ventilation in your home. Poor ventilation leads to issues with condensation and damp as there is poor air circulation in the home. Controlled ventilation will reduce this, letting fresh air in when needed.

How does ventilation work?

There are a few types of ventilation measures within the home, including:

  • Installing extractor fans in rooms where moisture is commonly produced, usually kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms – these need to be used at all times when moisture is being produced.
  • Underfloor grilles or airbricks which help keep wooden beams and floors dry by allowing gaps in which air can circulate.
  • Wall vents which allow small amounts of fresh air into rooms.
  • Trickle vents, usually found above modern windows where small vents allow fresh air to trickle in.
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) system which consists of a unit and ducts which extract stale air and replace it with fresh air – these are common in new build homes, but if you live in an older building it’s unlike you have one.

Ventilation should always be at the front of mind when undertaking any energy efficiency work in the home. Measures such as insulation and draught-proofing, if not done correctly, can cause issues with ventilation – leading to damp in your home.

That’s why we’d always recommend engaging with a retrofit professional to undertake this work. Cosy Homes Oxfordshire can help you with this through our home assessment and Whole House Plan service. Simply register your home with us and we’ll be in touch to book your home assessment.

What types of home does ventilation work for?

Ensuring controlled ventilation is important for any home. However, it’s more likely to be an issue if you live in an older property. If you have existing issues with condensation, damp, or mould, you should definitely look at tackling your home’s ventilation.

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