Keeping your house cool and comfortable without impacting on the air quality can be challenging, especially in summer. While artificial methods of ventilation such as AC systems and fans have become increasingly popular over the last years, these have some downsides that are worth considering before picking a ventilation system for your hose.
Natural ventilation, instead, can reduce your energy consumption and leverage the force of nature to keep your living environment comfortable and ventilated. Strategically-placed openings in a building can encourage natural movements of wind without the need for mechanical means.
At its very core, natural ventilation works by making the most out of the difference in pressure created between the outside and the inside of your house by air temperature and wind. In turn, this airflow can decrease and increase the internal temperature and provide a suitable and enjoyable environment.
As we have seen, natural ventilation leverages the difference in pressure created on opposite sides of the walls of your building. Such a big difference in pressure comes from different air temperatures and wind.
While this is the concept at the core of this passive ventilation system, a strategic natural ventilation system is a little more refined than this. The windows placed on the facade and roof of the building will open and close automatically, according to the settings desired.
The movements of the windows will happen by incremental amounts, for the system to reach the values of the settings regarding:
Natural ventilation systems or passive venting can achieve such precise levels thanks to meters that can read the exact external temperature, wind speed, rain potentials, and atmospheric conditions. These will be matched with internal room temperature, humidity levels, and CO2 levels. This cutting-edge technology allows a refined passive vent system to control the building’s internal climate.
Now that you have an answer to the “what is passive ventilation” question, let’s have a look into the benefits this type of ventilation in buildings can bring.
AC systems and fans can be effective in cooling down a room, but they can also significantly weigh on your monthly electricity bills. Such systems are not particularly energy-efficient, and they work through the use of artificial airflows. The level of maintenance required by such systems can only add to the average cost of such equipment.
Artificial air conditioning systems might reuse and recycle the airflow, which means that it is not always as fresh as you might think. Many individuals are also particularly susceptible to conditioned air, which can cause allergy-like symptoms and discomfort.
Instead, natural ventilation systems can improve the quality of indoor air by constantly providing a fresh stream of air coming through your building.
Aside from consuming energy, some types of air conditioning systems can be detrimental to the environment and create carbon emissions. Natural ventilation systems, instead, work thanks to the natural air and pressure movements. Therefore, there won’t be any type of emission involved – making them the optimal choice for anybody who wishes to live a low-waste, sustainable lifestyle.
One of the biggest downsides of air conditioning systems and fans is the fact that they will only keep your home or building cool when they are on.
However, if you decide to save on energy and switch them off, your living space is likely to heat up rapidly. Instead, due to the incremental movement of natural ventilation systems, you can enjoy a constant temperature level, set at a pleasant level.
This type of natural internal control is ideal for enjoying a pleasant level of temperature without much effort. The customized settings allow you to pick the temperature level and airflow you prefer and keep it at a constant standard.
Certain AC systems recycle the air, creating a direct flow toward the user. Instead, this natural ventilation system creates an air movement that is entirely natural and homogenous. This is ideal to avoid temperature drops or spikes during the day while adapting the climate to your requirements.
Increased humidity levels or dry environment can have serious consequences on the structural wellbeing of a building. It is common to see humidity stains on the ceilings of today’s houses. These can be due to poor air circulation or condensation. Instead, passive vents allow for a constant airflow that reduces this unbalance.
Two types of systems characterize natural ventilation, Wind-Driven and Buoyancy-Driven stacked ventilation.
Also called wind-induced cross ventilation, this system leverages the pressure difference between the two sides of the building’s wall. The two different flows will cause the air to be drawn in from the high-pressure side of the wall, and be released out on the low-pressure side.
Also called the stack-effect, a buoyancy-driven stack ventilation system works by allowing the cooler air to enter the building at a low level. The low levels of a building are where occupants and equipment usually is. In turn, the movement of people and the use of machines and devices will heat the air up, which will become more buoyant. As it does so, it will rise through the building and escape through openings at the higher levels of it.
While they are ideal for anybody who wishes to live a sustainable lifestyle, the efficiency of these passive ventilation strategies varies depending on a series of variables.
Therefore, while it is sometimes the perfect building ventilation system, in some other cases, it might not be as efficient.
Ideally, cross or natural ventilation is perfect for those buildings that are:
Other environmental factors that influence the effectiveness of this system are:
During hot but still days, the effectiveness of natural ventilation systems can significantly decrease. This is a significant disadvantage of the system as these are the days in which you will need your house to be cool the most.
Also check: Home Ventilation Guide
Ventilation systems are such an important factor of our homes that more and more of us are becoming aware of. A good ventilation system means cleaner, fresher air which is vital for your health and the look and feel of your home. So what is available? There are lots of options with different prices. A standard heat recovery system with all the necessary work and labour can cost around £1000 or above, but this is for a house that is no more than 150 m2.
Ventilation involves the removal of stale air in the interior of a home as well as moist air, and replaces all the air with the replacement of clean, fresh air from the outside, which means that it can provide you with clean air. Adequate ventilation is essential and can assist with:
It prevents the build-up of excess levels of humidity, which helps with any type of respiratory conditions that you may have.
Provides air for fuel-burning appliances, such as woodburners.
Removes bad smells, such as food, smoke and sometimes even allergens.
When we live inside our homes, we are exposed to many types of air that can be difficult. Ventilation refers to the exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Even the most potent toxins in the house, such as carbon monoxide, and moisture can damage a house and good ventilation helps keep a home energy-efficient, safe, and healthy. Here are two types of ventilation systems that you need to look at. Uncontrolled ventilation is one type of system that you will need to look at. This is where you have natural ventilation in your home which you can’t turn on and off. For example air flows around poor-fitting windows, pipes and doors.
However, the best way to tackle this is by looking at controlled ventilation instead and eliminating the issues that come along with uncontrolled ventilation, such as sealing up the holes and cracks around doors and windows. Good design is vital when looking into ventilation systems, as well as looking at maintaining comfortable temperatures which includes your heating systems. If you have a heating system without adequate ventilation, you may end up with a home that’s warm but not as healthy or comfortable to live in as it could be and the air can become dry and even stale.
The most common form however, is known as controlled ventilation. There are many different kinds so let’s run through some to give you a deeper insight into how they all work.
These work by depressurizing your home. The system exhausts air from the house through passive vents and is best for those living in colder climates. In climates with warm humid summers, depressurization can draw moist air back into building wall cavities, where it causes moisture damage, so this is a good system to the northern hemisphere. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Usually, an exhaust ventilation system uses a single fan and it is connected to a centrally located source point in the house. Or, in other designs, the fan is connected to ducts from several rooms, and adjustable, passive vents are installed into all rooms to promote fresh air. Passive vents may need larger pressure differences than those created by the ventilation fan to work to maximum potential.
Supply ventilation systems use a fan to pressurize your home. This forces air from outside into the building as air leaks back out through holes in a shell, bath, or fan ducts. Supply ventilation systems allow exceptional control of the air coming in and out of the house. It works to pressurize the house, and the ventilation systems minimize any outdoor pollutants and toxins in the living space. It will also prevent any issues with combustion gases with fires and other gas appliances. It can be used to dehumidify also. An in-line duct heater is another option for this type of system but it will increase the operating costs of the system.
There are three types of whole-house mechanical ventilation systems which you will commonly see as:
Each of the above will use ducts, fans, dampers and controls and your home will need to be evaluated to look at the path in and out of the home.
Whole-house MVHR systems extract warm, damp air from inside your home and draw in fresh air from the outside. The warm stale air is passed through a heat exchanger and then is fed outside. The cool, fresh outside air is also passed through the heat exchanger, separate to the passage outside and is pre-warmed before it’s pumped back in. It captures and recycles heat but doesn’t produce it.
Some of these systems will have an automatic or manual setting and an air filtration is commonly built into all MVHR systems to prevent pollen and other particles from entering the home which would be counterproductive. Systems typically run continually at 80% efficiency and you can’t hear the system running at all. The general cost of a MVHR system can cost in anything from £1,500 to £3,000 but this may differ depending on your house size, and intricacies of the installation.
An HRV can recover up to 5 times more energy than it costs to operate it which means it’s an incredibly efficient appliance and they work well even when conditions outside are at their worst and HRVs ventilate, 24 hours a day, every day. You need an exceptional installer for a Heat Recovery System which has been well designed and is fit for purpose for your house size and more. A heat recovery unit can be placed in your loft, in a cupboard or even a ceiling void. It is best to look at installing it in an area where the heat is most enveloped. If you live in a particularly built up area with traffic, then passive systems may not work as well and this system will ensure that you get the clean air that you desire.
If it’s not possible to fit a new network of ducting into your home, then you want to look at a central ventilation system which come as:
Positive input ventilation (PIV) – It works by drawing in fresh, filtered air into a property from outside, works well in an apartment block for example.
Mechanical extract ventilation (MEV) – This is a centralised system which gives clean ventilation by reducing the excess moisture using a multi point extract.
The difference between MEV and MVHR is that MVHR offers a balanced system which provides you with extract and supply, and MEV merely extracts the heat, such as wet heat from kitchens and appliances.
There are some other systems that are known as passive ventilation systems. These systems typically combine one of a variety of exhaust methods (wind, thermal or mechanical), with a separate passive air system. Typical components are likely to include humidity-controlled air inlets and outlets as well as passive air inlets located on exterior walls or windows, which automatically regulate airflow. This won’t be at all affected by any variations in wind pressure outside. The incoming fresh air can be passed through a special heat exchanger. This will work to try and recover heat from the extracted air. Some of the advantages are:
Passive ventilation is a natural ventilation system that makes use of natural forces, which may include wind and thermal buoyancy. This will help circulate the air and keep it clean, working to regulate the internal air temperature whilst maintaining fresh air and keeping stale air away. This usually occurs by the opening and closing of windows and vents which act as an air supply. Here are some reasons why passive ventilation works well:
There may be factors that will hinder your passive cenatilion such as the direction of the wind and the temperature including the position of windows and doors, which can affect air flow. You can keep on top of your air flow rate with some simple equations, however.
The air flow rate through a ventilation inlet opening forced by wind can be calculated using the formula Q = Cv x A x v where:
Q = air flow rate (m3/s)
Cv = effectiveness of the openings (assumed to be 0.5–0.6 for perpendicular winds and 0.25–0.36 for diagonal winds)
A = free area of inlet openings (m2)
v = wind velocity (m/s)
Investing in good quality ventilation is going to vastly improve your air quality as well as the value of your home, so be sure to do your research and look at how you can change the quality of your air.
Windows are not only a large financial investment, but they play a significant part when it comes to the aesthetics of your home as well. Windows are both functional and can make your home appear more stylish and beautiful. It’s a big decision that will require you to consider factors such as your home’s style, your budget, and what you’re trying to achieve throughout your space.
Shopping for new windows can be a challenging task. It’ll help if you educate yourself about the different types of window styles before you invest any money into the project. There are a variety of UK window styles to choose from that may peak your interest. Review the details and benefits of each option so you can determine the best fit for your home.
Casement windows crank open horizontally on hinges mounted on one side at the top and bottom. One side will pivot open like a door whilst the other side remains stationary. They are a very common and popular choice among homeowners. They are a bit more modern visually and can catch and direct a nice burst of fresh air into your home. A side hung casement window is the most common in the UK.
Tilt and turn windows are practical choices that fit modern window styles nicely. They’re extremely popular in homes throughout continental Europe. Since they’re typically tailored to each customer, you may find the costs tend to be a bit higher. It’s an excellent choice if your home is more modern in style. These versatile sashes have a hinge on one side and usually a hinge on the bottom side. Each sash is operated by a different angle of the handle, which is great if you want variety.
Sash windows operate through a sliding mechanism, either vertically or horizontally, which is different from casement windows that have a crank and hinge. They can be either double or single hung if you choose the vertical sliding type of sash window. These windows are popular in mid-century modern homes styles. Sash or slider windows are a good choice when you need to constantly open and close windows.
A bow or bay window is a combination of windows that together form a unit that extends outward from the wall surface of the house. A bay window will be more of a square shape, whilst the shape of a bow window will be more curved. They’re excellent for creating a unique visual effect in living rooms, family rooms, and parlors.
You might think of a classic picture window when visualizing a fixed window. A fixed window refers to any window that uses a glass pane fixed within a window frame that does not open or close. They come in many different shapes and sizes. You can even buy pre-made stained glass that draws in colorful light and is very pleasing to look at. They’re perfect for providing view and light where ventilation and egress are not needed.
Georgian windows offer a historic and distinctive design for any home. They’re one of the most iconic window styles in Ireland and a classic choice that never gets old. They can be either sash or casement windows, with their distinctive characteristic of six (or more) glass panes divided by narrow profiled glazing bars. Traditionally, Georgian windows were made from wood, though nowadays, uPVC Georgian windows are attractive and can look fairly authentic.
French windows are similar to standard casement windows, which are attached by a hinge to the window frame on one side only, but they don’t have a central post. Instead, they create one large opening, without any structural elements obstructing the view from the window. They are full-length hinged double sashes that generally open inwards instead of being equipped with a sliding mechanism.
A skylight is defined as a fixed window installed in a roofline, while a roof window refers to a similar window that can be opened and closed to provide ventilation. They’re excellent for introducing light in dim spaces and where window space is limited. You might find them in attics or upstairs bathrooms.
Double-hung windows feature two large sashes (frame units surrounding glass panels) that slide up and down within vertical tracks. It is common for the sashes to be counterbalanced by springs hidden in the side tracks in modern double-hung windows. You’ll often find them in homes with classic traditional styling.
Glass block windows are fixed windows made with architectural glass blocks, usually mortared in place. They can block views whilst still allowing light to pass through because of the semi-opaque glass construction. They’re best for areas such as bathrooms, showers, and basements where you may want some light to shine through but to obstruct visibility. Some styles include ventilating panels built into the unit.
You should now have a better idea of your window options, which style might look best in your home, and the benefits of each. There are many window styles out there and on the market. This reality can be good because you have options but also challenging because it may cause you some stress and confusion as you think about all the possibilities.
Although most homes will include more than one style of window, designers don’t recommend mixing too many different styles in a single home. It may create a disjointed and disorganized look that will be unappealing. You want your window of choice to fit the style and architecture of your home, so keep this in mind as you shop around.
The right windows will be pleasing to look at and use and can boost the attractiveness of your home. Spend some time reviewing these window styles so that you can begin to narrow down your list of options and what may be suitable in your home. It’s a juggling act between considering how much you want to spend, what look you’re going for, and what benefits are most important to you. Give yourself plenty of time to think about your choices and try to picture what each style will look like in your home before investing any money. Remember that it’s best to stick with a primary style and add in some variation if you choose but not to overdo it.
Understanding the different parts of a window can aid you in choosing the ideal set of windows for you, as well as helping you to care for your windows and ensure that they can stay in tip top condition for as long as possible. You may be under the false impression that a window consists of nothing more than a frame and some glass, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Luckily it needn’t be difficult to get to grips with the different parts that contribute to creating a window, as it’s simple to understand the features that make up the perfect set!
Most of the common windows that you are able to source consist of two main components – the outer frame and the sash. The outer frame is essentially the surface area, or the external casing of your window, and inside of the frame is the aforementioned sash as well as the glass too. The inside area of the frame is known as the wash, and it’s the feature of your window that holds the glass in place. A great example could be a single-hung window, as sash is the piece that you use to slide the window open.
When it comes to the windows frame, there are 3 main features that come together to create a strong and sturdy perimeter that can support the weight of the glass. First of all you have the sill, which is the horizontal strip that is placed along the bottom line of your window frame. Second comes the jamb, which offers vertical support for the window frame, followed by the final feature, the head, which lines the top of frame to complete the square or rectangle.
The sash is made up of several different components, each of which are equal in their importance. The stiles make up the vertical sections of your windows sash, whilst the horizontal sections are commonly known as rails.
The sash outlines the most important feature of your windows – the glass. The glass inside a window is often referred to as the windowpane, which references the different glass sections that come together to complete the piece.
A very common decorative concept that can take your windows to a whole new level are features called grilles. These grilles are essentially an option that allows you to add some lines that can divide your glass, both inside the windows glass itself (known as GBG’s or grilles between glass) or actually on top of the glass’ exterior surface (referred to as SDL’s or simulated divided lites). You can get many other decorative features to upgrade the individuality of your windows, so you needn’t stick with a simplistic approach if this isn’t for you.
Windows can come in many shapes, sizes and styles, but they all consist of the same main features that have been detailed above. Now that you have been able to familiarise yourself with the different components that contribute to the creation of a window, you can explore our amazing ranges that will no doubt fit your every need.
Making sure that your greenhouse has enough ventilation really is crucial if you want to keep your plants healthy in the middle of the summer. If your greenhouse doesn’t have enough ventilation, then you may find that the lack of humidity and the extreme heat harms your produce and that it also stops them from growing. A fantastic way for you to make sure that your plants are growing as they should, would be for you to provide them with the perfect environment. This can be done by investing in electric greenhouse window opener.
Automatic greenhouse vents have a piston which gives them the ability to either open or close automatically. When the warmer weather hits, your vents will open and when the temperature drops, the vents will stay closed. Greenhouse vents are very easy to install. The pistons have a specially designed wax which when heated, expands. The greenhouse window openers can be installed onto any greenhouse and you don’t need to operate them at all. The type of vent that you invest in will largely depend on where you would like your greenhouse vent to be. You can have it on the roof, or as a side vent if you want. The vent that you do decide to invest in will largely depend on the plants that you have and the amount of sun you get.
If you are concerned about your vent not being in the right place, then you may want to try and install it where the sun hits the most. That way it will open up whenever the hottest part of the greenhouse exceeds a certain temperature. This is ideal if you have plants that don’t require as much heat. If you are growing plants that do require a large amount of heat on the other hand then installing it on the coldest window in the greenhouse would work because in this instance, it only works when the coolest part exceeds the heat threshold you’d like. Ideally, having a vent at either side would work well if you have a large greenhouse because that way you can control both sides of the greenhouse at the same time depending on the amount of sun each side is getting.
If you have an electric vent, then this will use some kind of power to open the vent. This can be in the form of a solar cell, battery or even line power. A lot of systems have a backup source so that the vents can be opened if the power should fail. Electric systems are much more advanced and reliable so if you want a long-term solution then they are certainly worth looking into. If you are on a budget on the other hand, then you may want to try and invest in an automatic one as this will do the same job but without the additional benefits. This is a great way for you to have a vent system without going over budget.
Windows play an integral role in any home, and it is important that you do as much as possible to make the most of this. You need to look at what you can do to make sure you get the best possible windows for your home. Believe it or not, there are quite a few different types of windows to choose from, and each of them operates in a slightly different way.
This is why it is important to make sure you look at some of the different windows that are available and the different ways in which they open. Understanding the different windows you want for your home is really important to sort out before you get a quote. And this is something that you need to think about as much as possible. Here are some of the top 10 opening types of window you should definitely know about.
Side hung windows are one of the most popular types, with hinges on one side, and a handle on the other. Simple and effective, these side opening windows offer maximum practicality, can be opened fully, and offer great security. The only drawback with side hung windows is that they can sometimes move with enough pressure, and this is something to consider with gale-force winds.
Top hung and bottom hung windows are of a similar ilk to side hung windows, except that they have a horizontal axis on either the top or the bottom. These windows are designed specifically for ventilation, without the windows being opened completely, generally for safety reasons. Ideal choices for top and bottom hung windows to be used would be classrooms and schools, where they offer great security as well as airing the rooms.
Side guided windows share a lot of similarities with the side hung windows. However, the main difference here is to do with the hinges that are used. Side guided windows tend to have the window sash move across when opened, so this lends an aesthetic without visible hinges. This is a fine choice for those looking to improve and boost the aesthetic appeal of a home.
Top guided is a very popular design for those sorts of top opening windows that are wide and short, and these windows open out and up, with a handle at the bottom. These windows are a simple yet effective design, and this is something to keep in mind when making your choice. They are stylish, but they are not necessarily the most practical choice for homeowners.
Similar to the top guided windows, but with much more to offer, the top swing windows can pivot almost 180 degrees, allowing you to experience the full impact of the window. It lets you air the room much better while at the same time being much easier to clean. Top swing windows are not overly common, as not all window manufacturers can create them. So it would be worth enquiring about these in advance.
Tilt turn windows rank among the best and most popular of the window types in the UK due to their versatility. These windows operate on two separate axis; tilting and turning, and this is something that makes them so appealing to consumers. This is basically a design that combines the best parts of side hung and bottom hung windows, and this is something you need to keep in mind right now.
Fixed windows are not exactly a type that opens, but, instead, do what the name suggests. They remain fixed in place, and this makes them a much cheaper and more cost-effective option for a lot of property owners. There are a lot of things to consider here; of course, not every window in the home should be fixed, as this isn’t practical. But for aesthetic purposes, you might choose to have a couple of windows that are fixed.
Folding windows are an excellent design for those property owners for whom space is a premium. The great thing about these windows is that they fold like a book and this allows them to free up the entirety of the window’s opening.
Sliding windows do exactly what they say on the tin, and this is one of the reasons why people like them so much. Sure, they might feel a little old-fashioned, but they can serve a practical purpose, especially as interior windows.
Guillotine windows move along separate rails in the opposite direction of their separation, and this gives homeowners two different types of window. They don’t require space to be opened, but they do only open 50%, and this can be a drawback for a lot of people.
Make sure you understand what it takes to enjoy the best possible windows in your home, and this means you should focus on what it takes to make the right choice. Understanding the best possible window type for your home is important, and this means looking at the different types of window openings that are available.
To give an example, while working with one of our roof light customers we selected some Mingardi Micro XL window openers to automate eight large and heavy roof vents in a school in Ilford.
These roof vents each weigh approximately 100 kg and have an opening edge which is 2050mm wide
We chose the Mingardi Micro XL window openers because each one has a 400N force and large 420mm opening distance.
The openers were coupled with the synchronising control box, which ensures both openers work together and at the same speed.
The combined pushing force for both window openers together is 80 kg which exceeds the required 50 kg needed
For roof windows or roof vents the calculation you would use is:
Force = 0.54 x Window Weight
In the example we are using this would mean the force required would be 54 kg
Please note this calculation is not the same as top hung or bottom hung windows on a vertical wall where you need to take into account the height of the window and the distance you are pushing it as well
The other aspect is the width across the opening face of the window.
When a window is wide and heavy you should use two or more window openers, this adds stability and balance pushing force as well as better compression when the window or roof vent is closed.
It is important to have some communication between window openers when you use more than one on the same opening.
This protects the roof vent from damage or twisting while opening, and if one of the window openers stops so will the other one
If you have a large or heavy roof vent please get in touch with one of our team to discuss the best options
Approved Document B: Fire Safety sets out the regulations for providing a safe means of warning escape in the event of a fire.
There have been some areas that can be interpreted in different ways which has affected the smoke ventilation industry specifically,
One area that has been clarified in the 2019 amendments is how the smoke vents are triggered when smoke is detected in the common corridor and lobby
Getting to the bottom of the correct window opening solution starts with the basics about your window. Our short guide is here to help you understand what we are asking for when you are on the phone with us.
Manual window openers are a method of opening hard to reach windows from a remote handle located within reach. There are several brands of manual openers, but the most commonly used name is Teleflex.
A manual winding gear system consists of a chain opener you fit to the window or windows you want to operate, a low-level winding handle such as the midi or maxi operating handles located within reach. (more…)