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Natural Ventilation
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Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation used to be the most common method of allowing fresh outdoor air to replace indoor air in a home. Today, itís usually not the best ventilation strategy, especially for homes that are properly air sealed for energy efficiency. Natural ventilation also usually doesnít provide adequate moisture control.

Natural ventilation occurs when there is uncontrolled air movement or infiltration through cracks and small holes in a homeóthe same ones you want to seal to make your home more energy efficient. Opening windows and doors also provides natural ventilation. Because of central heating and cooling systems, however, most people donít open windows and doors as often. Therefore, air infiltration has become the principal mode of natural ventilation in homes.

A homeís natural ventilation rate is unpredictable and uncontrollable, so you canít rely on it to ventilate a house uniformly. Natural ventilation depends on a homeís airtightness, outdoor temperatures, wind, and other factors. Therefore, during mild weather, some homes may lack sufficient natural ventilation for pollutant removal. On the other hand, tightly sealed homes may have insufficient natural ventilation most of the time, while homes with high air infiltration rates may experience high energy costs.

Spot ventilation can be used to improve the effectiveness of natural ventilation. However, if both spot and natural ventilation together donít meet your homeís ventilation needs, then you should consider a whole-house ventilation strategy.

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