MECHANICAL VENTILATION GLOSSARY

MECHANICAL VENTILATION GLOSSARY

What is ventilation?

Ventilation is a key determining factor in providing a comfortable indoor environment for occupants of all building types. It is broadly categorised as either natural ventilation or mechanical ventilation.

As the name suggests, natural ventilation relies on the natural movement of air, including pressure differences within the building, and between the inside and outside of the building. On still days, when ventilation is often most desirable, natural ventilation is typically least effective – and vice versa.

Natural ventilation also relies on infiltration, which is the leakage of air through the building fabric. Excessive loss of warm air from inside the building leads to increased discomfort due to draughts, and increased energy use due to heating the cold air that replaces the lost warm air.

Mechanical ventilation overcomes these issues by working in the background to extract stale air and replace it with a constant supply of fresh air. It does so consistently and quietly, regardless of external conditions, so there is no noticeable air movement and no uncomfortable draughts.

Often, the most appropriate ventilation solution is a hybrid one. Most of the work is done by the primary system with supplementary ventilation done by the secondary system where the environmental conditions allow. The design of the building and the local environment will have a big influence on whether the primary is a natural or a mechanical system.

Hybrid ventilation is particularly well-suited to schools, to meet the recommendations of Building Bulletin 101. Jaga’s Oxygen ventilation system is intelligently controlled and designed to suit individual rooms. It delivers clean, filtered, fresh air on demand, and works well in buildings with multiple or high occupancy rooms such as schools, offices and care homes.

For more technical advice on selecting ventilation solutions, contact our UK support team or request a CPD seminar on ventilation in schools.

What is indoor air quality?

Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is a measure of how the air inside a building impacts on the health and comfort of building users. People need a supply of fresh air, otherwise the air becomes stale with moisture, odours and pollutants.

Ventilation, moisture content of the air, a building’s heating system, and the risk of condensation are all closely related, and have a big say in the development of conditions like asthma or allergies.  It’s estimated that the National Health Service would enjoy significant cost savings if more effort was made to tackle indoor air quality.

Poor indoor air quality also affects concentration levels. An improvement in office productivity and classroom learning, as well as a decline in sickness and absenteeism, is evidenced by better IAQ.

One advantage of mechanical ventilation solutions is the ability to filter incoming air to remove dust and air born particles. External air quality and how it negatively affects the quality of internal air is a concern of its own.

Jaga’s Oxygen ventilation system is an intelligent, demand controlled solution that delivers clean, filtered, fresh air for good indoor air quality in any individual space. It’s suitable for buildings of all ages and types, including schools, offices and care homes. For more technical advice on selecting ventilation solutions, contact our UK support team.

What are the benefits of mechanical ventilation?

Mechanical ventilation offers a controlled, predictable solution for maintaining good indoor air quality in domestic, education, healthcare and residential care premises – but it needs to be incorporated into the building design from an early stage.

Not only is mechanical ventilation more consistent and predictable than natural ventilation, it can also filter incoming air to remove dust and pollutants and reduce the impact of poor external air quality.

Fresh air provided by mechanical means, or natural means for that matter, must still be warmed during the winter to prevent cold draughts. The impact of this can be reduced through heat recovery, where the temperature of the extracted air is used to warm the incoming air without the two ever mixing.

In buildings where occupancy levels frequently change, it is not possible to design a single ventilation rate to suit all occasions. A system where the ventilation rate changes to suit not only the occupancy level, but also the internal conditions, is known as demand control, and it makes sure the system is always operating at the level it needs to.

Operating all the time at a high level would be inefficient during low occupancy; operating all the time at a low level would create an uncomfortable environment when occupancy is high.

Linking heating and mechanical ventilation is the best way to optimise the indoor climate without incurring unnecessary running costs. Jaga’s Oxygen ventilation system is intelligently controlled and designed to suit individual rooms. Coupled with Low-H2O technology radiators, it’s possible to achieve a healthy and pleasant indoor climate throughout the year, with low power consumption.

Oxygen delivers clean, filtered, fresh air on demand in buildings of any age or type, including those with multiple or high occupancy rooms such as schools, offices and care homes. For more technical advice on selecting ventilation solutions, contact our UK support team or request a CPD seminar on ventilation in schools.