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Aggressive Air Movement with Passive Ventilation Concepts

Aggressive Air Movement with Passive Ventilation Concepts

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September 13, 2007

Passive ventilation concepts are a lot more aggressive than the term implies.  Anytime you say "passive" it implies lack of action, but passive ventilation is the use of air pressure to move air at different temperatures.  It's one of the oldest forms of house ventilation and is energy efficient and economical.

The whole purpose of any indoor ventilation system is to improve the climate inside the structure.  Naturally, the cheaper you can do this without losing effectiveness, the better the system.  Passive ventilation concepts try to combine energy efficiency and the creation of improved air quality.

Passive Ventilation Concepts

The word "passive" as used in relation to ventilation systems implies using natural means to push air.  Mechanical systems use electricity, while passive systems use physics.  Changes in air pressure create wind outdoors and the same principles are used in a passive ventilation system.

Passive ventilation concepts include the following operating principles:

• Air heats up
• Changes in air pressure makes the air begin to move
• Heated air rises through ductwork
• As the hot air rises, new fresh air replaces the space

A passive ventilation system works best when the difference in air pressure outside and inside is at its greatest such as when it's cold outside and heated inside.  The system is obviously less expensive than a mechanical system because all it really requires is some basic ductwork and places where fresh air can enter the house.

Making sure you have places where fresh air can enter the house is probably the simplest principle of the whole system, but also the one people don't fully understand.  The fresh air has to be available whenever the passive ventilation system is ready to operate.  This may require the addition of some vents in the house. 

There are variations to the passive ventilation system.  For example, the combination of a passive and mechanical system is possible.  The same passive ventilation concepts apply, but the mechanical system operates as the "vents" by making sure fresh air is available.

Passive ventilation concepts rely on physics, but in reality the system is very simple.  If you are looking for an energy efficient way to add additional ventilation to your house, the passive ventilation system might be the answer. 

As with any system, the passive ventilation system must be properly maintained. Make sure the vents and ductwork are clean for example.  If you notice any room doesn't seem to be getting any fresh air consider adding a fresh air vent. 

For more information on passive ventilation concepts

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