Research: People overestimate the costs of ventilation

A survey of building industry stakeholders reveals that people within the industry overestimate ventilation costs and have a limited understanding of the benefits of sufficient indoor air. These results call for more information to combat misunderstandings regarding ventilation.

Energy-efficiency is considered important within the building industry, and is also increasingly demanded by consumers. As a consequence, buildings are built to be insulated in order to minimise heating costs. It might therefore be tempting to reduce ventilation in an attempt to save energy. However, Hamilton and colleagues’ (2015) documented that building industry stakeholders tend to overestimate the costs of ventilation, and doubt or do not fully understand the benefits of a properly working ventilation system.

We also acknowledge that there are several misunderstandings which confuse ventilation and energy-efficiency, especially amongst consumers, leading to some people forsaking ventilation in their eagerness to save on energy. There are two points which must be explained to address these misunderstandings. Firstly, it is important to consider the building as a whole -a well-insulated house without a proper ventilation system will not be a healthy house in the long run, as poor ventilation tends to become costly. Secondly, as the study suggests, proper ventilation is not as expensive as many people think. For instance, modern ventilation solutions by VILPE are demand-based, meaning that the system automatically adjusts the ventilation according to the temporal air quality and thereby saves money on energy consumption.

Reference:  Hamilton, Michael & Rackes, Adams & Gurian, Patrick & Waring, Michael. (2016). Perceptions in the U.S. building industry of the benefits and costs of improving Indoor Air Quality. Indoor Air. 26. 318–330. 10.1111/ina.12192.