What are the different types of ventilation?

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As a business owner or administrator for a company, you may already know that your workplace building needs some type of ventilation. Ventilation not only provides areas with clean, fresh air (which is integral for employee health), but, depending on the type, can also rid the environment of harmful toxins, fumes and gases.

But which ventilation is the best choice for you and your industry? Our informative guide highlights all.

Types of ventilation systems

1. Natural ventilation

Probably the most well-known form of ventilation is natural ventilation. This refers to an ongoing supply of clean air from natural sources which, in most cases, is the most ideal type of ventilation for a building.

These typically depend on natural forces, such as wind and thermal buoyancy, to drive the outdoor air throughout the buildings. However, the three main factors required in order for natural ventilation to be effective are:

  • Building design – some buildings aren’t designed to allow natural ventilation to circulate, for example, high-rise offices with no openable windows.
  • Climate – hot climates, such as Dubai for example, would typically have less cool air to circulate in order to properly ventilate a building.
  • Human behaviour – the behaviour typically expected to exist within the building would also have an effect on whether natural ventilation would be the best type, for example, an office environment and a fitness class would require different streams of ventilation.

2. Mechanised fan ventilation

Mechanised fans are generally installed directly into the windows or air ducts of a building to supply air both to, or from, an environment. This provides buildings with internal air which is extracted via the fan in a controlled approach.

However, it’s important to note that this type of ventilation usually depends on the weather, as they are designed to inject clean air and expel stale oxygen. For example, the infiltration of particles may need to be reduced in humid conditions, while the exfiltration may need to be prevented during colder periods, which would minimise condensation.

3. Smoke ventilation

In public buildings, it is a legal requirement to provide smoke ventilation in the event of a fire. This helps to alleviate the thick build-up of condensed smoke if a fire were to break out, which then helps to provide a clearer escape route to anyone trapped in the fire.

4. Supply ventilation

Supply ventilation generally works by pressurising the building, which forces external oxygen particles inside via a fan. This type of ventilation is especially common within living room and bedroom areas, as this provides the best air quality for homeowners in living spaces.

5. Exhaust ventilation

This type of ventilation works by depressurising the building, which reduces the inside air pressure to mean that it falls below that of the outdoor air pressure. The exhaust mechanism then works by sucking out the stale air, which is then replaced by fresh air from a different source (usually an air vent).

This type of ventilation is most commonly found in bathrooms or kitchens where a lot of steam can build up, and needs filtrating out.

6. Balanced ventilation

A mix of both exhaust ventilation and supply ventilation, balanced ventilation works by neither pressurising or depressurising a building. Instead, this type of ventilation looks to inject and exhume the same level of air by positioning at a number of fans and duct systems in the most efficient positions around the environment.

Fume extraction systems

A key part of ensuring that the air is ventilated is also ensuring that harmful fumes and toxins are removed from the area. In business workplaces especially, there can be a build up of these gases which can cause detrimental effects on employee health, the environment, the products and equipment used.

Here at Purex, we supply a wide range of fume extraction systems for a variety of industries, including the 3D printing industry, dental practices and electronics. Find out more about how fume extractions can benefit your business, or get in touch with a member of our team for more information about whether your workplace is safe.