Exhaust fans are a type of exhaust or forced ventilation method. According to the ASHRAE Standard number 62.1 titled ‘Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality’, the air in homes must be of acceptable quality. The Government of Australia’s Department of Environment estimates that Australians spend about 90% of their time indoors. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) places the cost of poor indoor air quality at 12 billion Australian Dollars annually. This is borne both by the individual in their own capacity and as a taxpayer to the National Government.
So how can this be reduced significantly? One way is by using exhaust fans.
Exhaust fans fall under the category of exhaust only ventilation systems. This is how these systems work generally: they decompress the air in the room, creating an area of low pressure. As a result, outside air comes rushing in. Cleaner cooler air comes rushing in during the summer for instance, despite the heat. These fans can be fixed on the exterior part of the building, or with the ‘faces’ facing the air inlet or outlet.
Types of this fan are:
1. Inline Exhaust Fans
These line vents and propel the air that flows along them.
2. Ceiling fans
Fans that are fixed on the ceiling generally displace warm air downwards. In this case, that warm stale air is directed to vents on the roof of the basement where it is let out.
3. Exterior fans
These are installed and housed outside the building. Sometimes fans can be quite noisy, being mechanical devices. In this case, your home remains quiet since it works outside. They draw all the stale air from the home.
4. Wall fans
These are mounted on the walls inside the basement. They circulate the air in the room and expel the stale.
5. Multifunctional Exhaust fans
These have the ability to heat, light and ventilate. This feature is a big plus for this kind of fan.
Fans can also be graded as single point, two point or multiple point.
The required ventilation rate required by ASHRAE for an area like the basement should not exceed 200 feet per cubic meter.
The Department of Environment in the Australian Government lists organic compounds as the biggest pollutants. Some of these, concluded after research, are benzene, Carbon monoxide and mold. When carbon monoxide is inhaled in large volumes, it causes death. This is especially so in rooms with poor ventilation. It is the worst killer since it is odorless and colorless. The most likely sources of this gas are furnaces, fireplaces and cigarette smoke.
Exhaust fans, when used in basement ventilation, will solve these problems for you. They simply get rid of the pollutants and let in cleaner, fresher air.
As they work, these fans can be noisy as mentioned earlier. When selecting one, go for a silenced one or one with a sound rating of less than 1 on the sone scale. The last thing you need is constant banging and incessant grinding sounds when the fans rotate.