Ventilation Terms to Know

Ventilation Terms to Know

The language of HVAC contains many ventilation terms, some of which may be unfamiliar. Ventilation is the “V” in HVAC and plays a role as important as the other letters, which stand for Heating and Air Conditioning. Adequate home ventilation is critical for reasons like these:

  • To dilute indoor air pollutants.
  • To reduce airborne allergens.
  • To keep air moving and reduce dependence on air conditioning.
  • To eliminate odors.
  • To reduce condensation and prevent mold growth.

Here are some common ventilation terms and what they mean to your household health and comfort:

  • Airflow: The volume of air passing through HVAC ductwork, expressed in cubic feet per minute.
  • Air changes per hour: The number of times per hour that the entire air volume inside a designated room is replaced by incoming air.
  • Air handler: The indoor unit that contains the blower fan that circulates air throughout your home ductwork to heat, cool or ventilate the house.
  • Balanced ventilation: In these systems, the volume of fresh outdoor air inducted into the house exactly equals the volume of stale air exhausted from the house.
  • Ductwork: The metal conduits that circulate air throughout the house. Supply ducts deliver air to each room while return ducts convey room air back to the air handler for filtration.
  • Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV): A balanced system that circulates fresh air through small diameter dedicated ducts while exhausting an equal volume of stale indoor air. The system also transfers heat between the intake and exhaust streams according to outdoor temperature. This allows fresh air ventilation year-round while maintaining consistent indoor temperature control. Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) includes the same balanced ventilation functions as an HRV but also extracts water vapor from incoming air to control indoor humidity.
  • Flue: A ventilation flue is a metal conduit that vents toxic combustion byproducts from gas-fired appliances such as furnaces, stoves and water heaters.
  • One-way ventilation: Also called spot ventilation, these vents typically exhaust moist air from bathrooms and kitchens.

For more common ventilation terms and how they impact your indoor environment, contact Aggressive Mechanical.

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