Mechanical Ventilation

The National Building Code requires the installation of a mechanical ventilation system with a prescribed capacity, which is capable of operating on a continuous basis, in all houses intended for year-round occupancy. It is not necessarily intended that house occupants operate the system at the peak capacity on a continuous basis. In households with frequent moisture-generating activities such as cooking, bathing and floor washing, continuous mechanical ventilation at a low speed may be required to control indoor humidity. There may be occasions when operating the mechanical ventilation system at its peak capacity, on a continuous basis, is needed to control contaminants arising from activities such as painting or social events. In households with sedentary occupants, or when the house is not occupied for extended periods of time, intermittent operation of the mechanical ventilation system may be all that is required to maintain acceptable indoor air quality. Within this context, mechanical ventilation systems should be viewed as appliances intended for reasons of occupant health and comfort, as well as the integrity of the building envelope. Ideally, these systems should comfortably accommodate the full range of normal household activities without over or under-ventilating the home.

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