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Pros and Cons of Natural Ventilation Systems


Why Choose Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation is a method of cooling indoor air which has been used for centuries. This tried and true method still holds its own today, thanks to the many advantages it offers over mechanical ventilation systems. Read on to learn more about how natural ventilation systems work and how they can save you time and money.


Building Vents

How Natural Ventilation Works

Natural ventilation moves warm air away from and cool air into an area without the use of mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation is achieved through the use of various ventilation techniques, but the most common are window ventilation and stack ventilation.

What is stack ventilation?

Stack ventilation uses strategically placed louvres and vents in the upper and lower sections of a structure to allow rising warm air to escape and cool air to enter. Because warm air has a lower pressure than cool air, it is naturally more buoyant and rises above the cool air. Stack ventilation uses this natural phenomenon to our advantage by allowing us to control air flow without the use of expensive mechanical systems. From open windows that pull warm air from inside a home or building to stack ventilation, natural ventilation is useful for a variety of reasons.


Building Vents

Advantages of Natural Ventilation

1. Humidity Control

One of the reasons natural ventilation is so widely used among commercial operations is its ability to control humidity. Humidity control is essential for commercial businesses and factories that require any type of machinery or technology in order to operate. When the air inside a facility is too humid, it can damage sensitive parts and materials as well as computers and other electronics. Natural ventilation has the ability to provide continuous airflow throughout an area that helps control humidity without the need for expensive commercial dehumidifiers.


2. Lower Operating Costs

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of natural ventilation systems is significant energy savings. Without the use of mechanical ventilation systems, no electricity is required to cool an area. For large commercial operations, energy costs from mechanical systems can be a significant portion of an organization’s operating costs.

Why are natural ventilation systems more affordable than mechanical systems?

In addition to lower energy costs, natural ventilation systems can save a commercial operation hundreds, if not thousands, on repair and maintenance costs. When large commercial HVAC systems are in use daily, the probability of a malfunction or broken part is pretty high. With natural ventilation systems, however, there are no hidden repair or maintenance fees, because there are no mechanical systems to operate!

3. Health and Wellness

In addition to lower operating costs and less humidity, natural ventilation systems can help prevent airborne illnesses through the constant flow of fresh air. As a business owner, this means fewer hours and wages lost to illness. As a manager, you can have peace of mind that cold and flu season won’t leave your operation understaffed.



Disadvantages of Natural Ventilation

1. Less Effective in Warmer Climates

If your operation is located in the southernmost portion of the United States, chances are you occasionally experience summer temperatures with triple digits. If this is the case, natural ventilation systems may not be effective enough during the summer months. While natural ventilation systems can still be installed and can work well in other seasons, personal cooling fans and evaporative coolers may be necessary to provide additional cooling.



2. Cool Air in Winter

As with warmer climates, natural ventilation systems can also be less effective for operations in winter climates if below freezing temperatures are common. To combat excessive cold air, we recommend combining your natural ventilation fans with low-energy mixing fans to help prevent warm air from being dispersed too quickly. These fans can be turned off in the summer to help continue airflow in and out of the building.



Who Needs Natural Ventilation Systems

If you’re unsure whether or not your business would benefit from natural ventilation systems, schedule a consultation with a member of the Bedson REPS team. We’re happy to make on-site visits to your operation in order to help explain the advantages and disadvantages of various systems and to make recommendations for you. Our aim is to help you save time and money by choosing systems that are ideal and efficient for you to cut energy and operating costs. To schedule a visit, contact us today.




Posted by Larry Bennett at 9:09 AM

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