Ventilation Controls are an essential for Proper Home Air Flow and Energy Conservation.



Ventilation Controls

Today’s focus on energy-efficiency and better indoor air quality (IAQ) has turned the attention to the use of Ventilation- Controls.

Ventilation-Controls for commercial buildings are often computerized, and use sensors as microprocessor base units to balance Ventilation Controls Requirement to provide optimal-ventilation along with energy conservation. These same units are available for home use but may be cost prohibitive. There are a number of Home Ventilation-Controls units on the market for optimization of your system.

Ventilation-Controls allow you to have enough outdoor air from the indoor air quality point-of-view and it also makes sure you don’t have more than you need, which has energy implications.

The objective of the systems is to optimize your Ventilation-system for optimal comfort and energy efficiency. Your energy-efficient choice for your can be complimented by running a

Home Energy Audit. This step by step procedure will identify all of your energy saving possiblities.



Ventilation Controls for buildings and homes range in complexity and typically are included as part of the HVAC design. However on existing homes and structures you need to design the Ventilation-Controls based on home design and the ventilation- system you have or are installing.

Economical and affordable Ventilation-Controls are ideal for use with exhaust or supply fans, air handlers, heat recovery "ventilators", intermittent whole-house exhaust systems, or anywhere specific "ventilation" rates are desired. Mixing the house air with fresh outdoor air can reduce concentrations of moisture and contaminants indoors and recharge the indoor air’s oxygen content.

There are many types of Ventilation-Controls that including the simplest devices - manually operated twist-timers. Some of the choicess that are available to automatically operate mechanical "ventilation" systems that are integral to most homes are described here.

Programmable Microprocessor Exhaust Fan-Controls

"Microprocessor-based controls" can balance "ventilation with energy conservation" because they can be programmed to operate intermittently. Different models allow for single or dual fan speed operation. For instance, a multi-speed exhaust fan might be operated by this type of control at low speed to provide "ventilation" and then boosted, via occupant use of the wall switch, to high speed when local high volume exhaust is desired for mist removal after a shower. These devices eliminate user error by automatically coordinating fan speed and cycle time based on the overall volume of air in the home and occupancy, while still allowing occupants access to a full-speed fan cycle. Multiple-controls can be paired with a quiet, energy-efficient fan so that occupants are not aware of the fan’s operation. Some units come with a battery backup that will hold the programmed setting during a power failure. Tamarack’s Airetrak™ is one example of a programmable microprocessor fan-control.

"Controllers for the Central Air Handler Fan"

Central air handler fan-controllers can be pre-programmed to engage the central system fan to periodically mix indoor air (when the system is not running) and to "control" a motorized damper in a fresh air supply duct that connects outside air with the system’s plenum. "Controlling the system’s fan" operation with a device that is independent of the thermostat avoids continually running the fan. The same sytem can be used to engage the fresh air intake duct damper. Otherwise, air intake dampers are often triggered when the system’s fan is in operation which can over-burden a system in extreme hot or cold climates.

Integrated Exhaust Fan and Microprocessor-Control Systems

An integrated ventilation system, Smart Sense®, is available as a kit that includes low sone exhaust fans and switches that can be installed in any room in a home. Once the system is in place and programmed, one switch becomes the master-control and all others become slaves. The system can be operated with up to 10 slave switches. All switches can manually operate the local fan. The master can operate any given fan based on a pre-programmed ventilation level that factors in the manual use at each location.

Other Ventilation-Control Systems:

Manual-Controls:

Manual-controls require the occupant to activate the "ventilation" fan when needed. This allows people who are particularly sensitive to indoor air quality to manually-control and maintain their comfort level. The disadvantage of manual-controls is that some people may not sense the need for ventilation and not turn it on. The basic manual-control is an on/off toggle switch. However, there are other units with functions that may be more suitable to the occupant's lifestyle.

Delay Timer:

Shower curtains, towels, walls and cabinets retain moisture long after the occupant has finished and left the bathroom. The advantage of a delay timer is that it continues to evacuate moisture and odor after the occupant has finished. Premier fans incorporate a delay timer that can be set within the range of 30 seconds to 60 minutes for the desired delay effect.

Manual Timers:

There are two basic types of manual timers. The less expensive are spring-wound, known as crank timers, suitable for intermittent bathroom Ventilation Controls. Electronic timers are more decorative and expensive but allow the occupant to select time duration with the push of a button. Electronic timers do not produce the sometimes annoying ticking sound that crank timers are known for. Premier fans incorporate quiet electronic features in thier Ventilation Controls.

Speed-Controls:

Speed controls allow the user to set the desired speed (airflow) of at the Ventilation Controls. Speed can be controlled either continuously or in steps. One of the disadvantages of speed controls is that they can cause undesirable noise when working in conjunction with the fan's AC motor. Premier fans incorporate a DC motor that operates quietly with its own built-in device.

Automatic-Controls:

These devices can be full or semi-automatic. An example of a fully automatic control is a 24-hour duty cycle timer that is programmed to cycle on and off over a 24-hour period. A semi-automatic-control is a device that has an override switch. An example would be an occupancy sensor with a manual on/off override.

Occupancy (motion) Sensors:

Occupancy sensors are suitable for intermittent-ventilation. An advantage is that the "ventilation system" will operate without having to rely on the occupant's interaction. The Ventilation Controls will remain on and continue working for duration after the occupant has left the room, much like a delay off timer. Premier fans have occupancy sensors integral to the fan grille. De-humidistats can be used to turn a ventilation-system on/off when relative humidity reaches a certain level. These devices are most likely to be used in bathrooms to evacuate excessive moisture. De-humidistats have a few disadvantages. One disadvantage is that seasonal changes in outdoor relative humidity necessitate seasonal readjustments to function optimally. Another disadvantage of a de-humidistat is that they are often mistaken for thermostats and set at 70 and never adjusted.


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