August 6, 2019

Background Ventilation and Purge Ventilation Explained

The key to achieving and maintaining good indoor air quality is efficient background ventilation and purge ventilation.  Here we explain the purpose of each system and why a house needs both.

Background Ventilation

Background ventilation is a whole house ventilation system that allows the introduction of fresh outside air into a habitable room without opening a window.

The purpose:

  • To remove stale indoor air and replace it with fresh outside air.
  • To dilute and remove airborne pollutants such as perfumes, deodorants, particles shed from pets, dust mites, and toxins from cleaning supplies.
  • To dilute and remove odours.
  • To control excess humidity created by bathing, washing, cooking, and drying clothes indoors.

May be achieved with:

Purge Ventilation

Purge ventilation is the introduction of intermittent, rapid ventilation into a habitable room, usually via an openable window or external door, to maintain or restore a pleasant living environment.

The purpose:

  • To aid the removal of high concentrations of pollutants and water vapour released from occasional activities such as painting and decorating.
  • To aid the removal of accidental releases such as smoke from burnt food or excess water spillage.
  • To rapidly increase air movement in the summer months for thermal comfort.

May be achieved with:

  • An openable window or door.
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