Have you ever been cooking a steak and have walked away from the stove for a minute to grab something? Sure you have. Have you ever done that and returned to find the kitchen full of smoke and the steak burning? Yes, we have all done that. Have you ever thought at that moment how great it would be to have a ventilation system in the kitchen? Well, if you didn’t have one at the time, you sure realized it at that moment.

Ventilation systems in a home are important because they help to remove odours and other particles in the air from the house and outside. They are most commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens but many homeowners also put them in basements to keep the area from smelling musty or stale. On any given day, as much as 10 to 50 litres of moisture is produced in a home by the average family because of their activities. If that is not ventilated properly, it can cause mould to develop in a home. A poorly ventilated home can also produce rot and make allergies worse.

If you are thinking of getting a ventilation system for your home, there are several things to consider.

  • In your kitchen, you can choose several different types of ventilation system styles. The most basic is a ductless wall-mount unit, while there are many more designs that incorporate lights, easy-clean surfaces and even timers. If you are worried about the look, you can have a slim-hood design that actually hides under a cabinet and is out of the way. There are also slide out hoods that help maximize space, or serve as shelves for things like microwaves.
  • Take into consideration the CFM rating of the ventilation system. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and it dictates the rate of which air is removed. The general recommendation is that you should have at least 40 cfm per linear foot a stove, or the area you are attempting to remove the air from. For most kitchens, you can go with a 120 cfm rating, while bathrooms may need a slightly larger rating. If you are working a lot with wood and chemicals in a shop, you will need a higher rating.
  • One way to improve the energy efficiency of your ventilation is to have a Heat Recovery Ventilator, which will use heat from exhausted air to preheat incoming fresh air, making ventilation much more efficient.

Mechanical Ventilation vs. Opening a Window

You may be asking why you can’t just open a window to vent out air? The simple answer is that mechanical ventilation is far more efficient than opening a window and you can have the ventilation run throughout the year. If you are in a colder climate, opening the window in the middle of winter is not a great idea. Mechanical ventilation does require energy, but it will save you money down the road when you prevent mould and rot from happening in your home.