Our grandparents would have been bemused. If you’d asked them whether using a fan to blow into a home would make it warmer and drier, they would have thought you were mad. Surely the key to a snug home is to seal every crack and shut it up tight?
They were right about the importance of eliminating draughts, but wrong about the benefits of home ventilation. Installing a sensor-controlled home ventilation system is one of the smartest things you can do to create a healthy house.
We’re not talking about traditional bathroom ventilation fans or their counterparts in the kitchen. If you really want to tackle cold or dampness in an older home, you’ll need a system that replaces air continuously in all rooms.
The breakthrough came with the invention of the ceiling-mounted fan unit, automatically controlled by sensors, which pushed dry air from the attic down through ducts into every room. Easy to install, these systems use naturally heated air from the roof cavity to replace chilly, moisture-laden air below. It’s a natural solution to a persistent problem in New Zealand’s cool, damp winter climate.
What are the effects? Well, one study from Otago University and Branz, showed that 46% of New Zealand homes suffer from condensation, with 35% showing visible mould. This is linked to a chilly atmosphere, as a damp home feels 4 degrees colder on average than one with dry air. It’s a vicious circle, as moisture feeds fungal spores, which creates poor indoor air quality and an unhealthy atmosphere for asthma sufferers. Not a pleasant environment in which to spend the winter months!
House ventilation may well be a very cost-effective move towards your healthier home. However, it’s important to make sure you take care of insulation first. Modern ceiling and underfloor insulation is the first step to creating an energy efficient home.
Get that done – then join the home ventilation fan club!