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Ventilation systems: advantages, disadvantages and costs
Ventilation systems: advantages, disadvantages and costs

Video: Ventilation systems: advantages, disadvantages and costs

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Video: Elements of Ventilation Systems 2023, February
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Fresh air for all living spaces, mold avoidance and pleasantly tempered room air - ventilation systems in houses and apartments ensure all of this. Most people are not aware that there are differences in design, installation and costs. We explain which variants are available, what to consider during installation and the price range of the systems.

Table of contents Table of contents ventilation systems: advantages, disadvantages and costs at a glance

  • What is a ventilation system?
  • The advantages of a ventilation system
  • Disadvantages of a ventilation system
  • No fear of unpleasant drafts and noise
  • Do ventilation systems dry out the air?
  • Can you still ventilate manually despite the ventilation system?
  • Cost of a ventilation system
  • What are the different systems?
  • Ventilation system: ventilation with heat recovery
  • Install ventilation system
  • What are the alternatives to the ventilation system?

Table of contents Table of contents ventilation systems: advantages, disadvantages and costs at a glance

  • What is a ventilation system?
  • The advantages of a ventilation system
  • Disadvantages of a ventilation system
  • No fear of unpleasant drafts and noise
  • Do ventilation systems dry out the air?
  • Can you still ventilate manually despite the ventilation system?
  • Cost of a ventilation system
  • What are the different systems?
  • Ventilation system: ventilation with heat recovery
  • Install ventilation system
  • What are the alternatives to the ventilation system?

Clever ventilation needs to be learned: if you keep the windows open too long, you pay higher energy costs for heating. If you ventilate too little, you run the risk of mold spreading in the apartment.

Correct ventilation is particularly difficult in modern houses, because they usually have well-insulated, airtight walls and multi-glazed windows. While this is nice and important, it inhibits the supply of fresh air and the removal of used, low-oxygen air. This is where a ventilation system usually comes into play in modern houses. It regulates the exchange of air so that you don't have to open the windows several times a day.

What is a ventilation system?

A ventilation system is a technical installation in houses and apartments that serves to exchange air. Fresh air is supplied from the outside, while used air is sucked out of the room by valves and escapes outside. This means that the indoor air is always of optimal quality.

The advantages of a ventilation system

The biggest advantage of ventilation systems is that the windows can remain closed due to the constant, automatic air exchange. This is an immense advantage, especially for allergy sufferers, because it makes pollen and dust more difficult to get into the house. So if you suffer from hay fever or a pollen allergy, you should consider installing a ventilation system so that you can rest at least at home from the annoying allergy symptoms.

In addition, moisture can only escape very badly through highly insulated walls, so that mold formation is not infrequently promoted. This is often the case, especially in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. In bathrooms without windows in particular, moisture can hardly be removed. It is not without reason that ventilation systems are usually standard in new houses.

Disadvantages of a ventilation system

One of the biggest disadvantages of central ventilation systems: In many cases it is difficult to temper the rooms at different temperatures. This can lead to the room air being too warm in the bedroom and too cold in the living room. However, with a modern heater that can be adjusted accordingly, you can avoid this problem.

Another problem concerns air hygiene: ventilation systems are equipped with filters and these have to be changed regularly. If you miss the filter change, mites can settle over time, which are distributed in all rooms with the fresh air. The organisms can trigger respiratory diseases or allergies. Inadequately maintained heat exchangers also occasionally cause legionella, which can also cause health problems.

Some ventilation systems are connected to so-called air wells on the outside. These are heat exchangers in the ground, which heat the air drawn in in winter and cool it in summer. Air wells of this kind are generally not advisable, since they are very easy to germinate.

Thermostat
Thermostat

If a ventilation system is installed, it can be difficult to temper different rooms. This problem can be avoided with modern heating.

Photo: fotolia / Insp.Clouseau

No fear of unpleasant drafts and noise

You don't have to have any concerns here - the ventilation system generates hardly any drafts. The air flow is so slow that it is rarely noticed. However, the draft can be felt more clearly under the openings of the ventilation system. For this reason, you should think carefully about where to place them.

The volume is also usually not a problem for ventilation systems: If the ventilation systems are installed by a specialist, there is usually no adverse noise, since the systems are then usually installed in the basement and the pipes are also clad with soundproofing.

Do ventilation systems dry out the air?

Especially in winter, the heating ensures extremely dry air in the living rooms and thus strains the skin, hair and health. With ventilation systems, however, you don't have to be afraid of it, because the system only brings fresh air from outside to inside. In winter, the air that comes from outside is usually very cold and is therefore less able to store moisture. As a result, the air that is supplied from outside via the ventilation system may be drier. But that would also be the case with manual ventilation.

Can you still ventilate manually despite the ventilation system?

The ventilation system automatically controls the air supply for you. Nevertheless, you can still manually open the windows and ventilate yourself if you feel like it. However, since the systems ensure an even, constant air exchange, you are not forced to ventilate regularly.

Cost of a ventilation system

The purchase of a ventilation system initially costs money, but then also saves you heating costs and prevents mold and bad air. The prices vary depending on the provider - roughly, however, it can be said that the costs for a ventilation system are around 2, 500 euros for a three-room apartment, and around 5, 000 euros for a single-family house, depending on the number of rooms. Good to know: The installation of ventilation is subsidized by the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) with a grant.

What are the different systems?

There are two basic types of ventilation systems: central and decentralized ventilation. The two systems differ mainly in terms of installation and their function.

The central ventilation system

A central ventilation system, as the name suggests, is usually installed centrally in one place. If available, this place is mostly the basement. From there, all rooms are centrally ventilated and the ventilation system is controlled.

In order for the whole house to be integrated into the air circulation, a connection to the outside area must be available at the central installation location so that the used air can be removed and the fresh air can be introduced. In addition, the house must have a pipe system that connects all rooms and thus ensures the exchange of air.

Rohre einer Lüftungsanlage
Rohre einer Lüftungsanlage

In the central ventilation system, all rooms are connected to one another via a pipe system.

Photo: iStock / Jovy86

The decentralized ventilation system

In contrast to the central ventilation system, the decentralized living room ventilation only ventilates individual rooms. The unit is therefore not installed centrally in the house and ventilates all other rooms, but stands in the room that is also to be ventilated. If you want to ventilate several rooms, you must also set up an aggregate in each additional room. The air circulation must then also be regulated individually in each room and cannot be controlled centrally.

Decentralized ventilation systems are mainly installed in rooms that can hardly be ventilated manually, such as a bathroom or a kitchen without a window. Relatively much moisture is generated in these rooms, which cannot escape and thus increases the risk of mold. In such cases, a decentralized ventilation system can be a real blessing.

Ventilation system: ventilation with heat recovery

Many people do not like to ventilate because they fear that too much warm air will escape as a result of the constant admission of fresh air and that heating costs will rise to immense heights. This fear can be put aside in a ventilation system because there are ventilation systems that already have integrated heat recovery. It is efficient, comfortable and protects the environment.

There are brands that offer special ventilation systems with built-in heat exchangers. Here's how it works: The heat exchanger uses the existing heat from the used air that is to be extracted to heat the fresh air that is to be introduced. Fresh and warm air flows into the rooms in a controlled and even manner.

Install ventilation system

If you move into a finished house, the options are usually limited to retrofitting central ventilation - it is usually very expensive to subsequently install the required pipe system for the supply and exhaust air. In case of doubt, decentralized ventilation systems in the individual rooms are recommended.

Anyone building a new house needs a central location where they can install the unit. The basement is usually best for this. It should also have a connection to the outside and have access to the pipe system of the rooms - this is the only way to suck in fresh air and exhaust the used room air.

When installing, there are a few things to consider depending on the use of the room, since not every room can be treated equally. Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and children's rooms are simultaneously ventilated. This means that previously filtered and tempered air must flow in from the outside. In the bathroom and in the kitchen, the used air should be removed. Special exhaust air valves must be installed in these rooms.

Incidentally, you do not have to lay a connection in the hallway, because it is considered an overflow area. This means that it is already adequately ventilated through the overflow openings in the other rooms, i.e. door slots.

What are the alternatives to the ventilation system?

There are alternatives to the ventilation system, such as window ventilation systems. These are relatively easy to install on windows with an electric drive. The window ventilation systems ensure that the respective window is opened at a certain time and the room is thus regularly ventilated.

One advantage is that these ventilation systems can be controlled with a timer as well as with a sensor. You can either ventilate every hour or have the integrated sensors determine when the air quality needs to be improved. Incidentally, the sensors also monitor the weather and do not open the windows in heavy rain or storm.

Incidentally, the window ventilation systems can also be integrated into many smart home systems and then conveniently controlled using a smartphone - state-of-the-art technology for fresh air in every room.

Maren Schwarz Foto
Maren Schwarz Foto

Maren Schwarz

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