Residential ventilation is important for supplying quality airflow and ventilation to homeowners. Since most modern homes are built to be airtight, and because windows are often shut at certain times of the day, circulation is essential to keep stale air, humidity, and contaminants at bay. Maintaining or improving the quality of indoor air can be achieved by evaluating and updating mechanical ventilation. Operating an efficient HVAC system that employs ductwork, vents, and exhaust fans will result in proper circulation.
There are several types of residential exhaust fans:
- The most common type of modern household exhaust fan is a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan. This type of fan is installed directly into the ceiling of a room and works to remove stale air through exhaust ducts to an external vent.
- Combination exhaust fans are generally ceiling-mounted units combined with a light fixture and/or heater. These types of fans can offer convenience and comfort in one unit.
- Household kitchen, dryer, and bathroom exhaust fans are intermittent fans. They work when turned on or when ventilation is needed in a room.
- Kitchen range exhaust fans are used to vent heat, cooking odors, smoke, and chemicals from a kitchen. They can be mounted above a cooking surface and come in many styles. Many modern kitchens are designed around decorative vent hoods.
- Inline exhaust fans are similar to ceiling-mounted fans, except in terms of placement—they are mounted along the ductwork line to save space and/or reduce fan noise. Noise can be reduced even further by using insulated flex duct materials between the intake vent and the fan.
- Wall-mounted exhaust fans are installed on an exterior wall of a home. No ductwork is required as air is vented directly outside.
- Exterior remote mounted exhaust fans operate outside of the home and pull— rather than push—air outside. This type of fan is quiet due to its location, but should be installed away from air intake vents to prevent airflow contamination.
- Continuous whole house fans can provide ventilation to an entire home with singe or multi-port exhaust vents. It pulls out hot air into the attic area and pushes it outdoors. Cool air can be drawn into the home through open windows.
- Attic fans are often confused with whole house fans. Attic fans vent hot air from an attic, but do not offer direct cooling.
Knowing building size, room size, and ductwork layout is essential before buying equipment to install, replace, or update ventilation. Fan type, duct length, and vent location will depend on the existing HVAC framework.