Determine the Best Type of Ventilation for Your Commercial Space
The air quality inside your commercial facility depends in large part on effective ventilation. Ventilation provides air circulation in your office, retail store or commercial location. This air movement helps keep a constant supply of fresh air inside your building as it helps move airborne particles, odors, microorganisms and other contaminants out of your workspaces. The type of ventilation system you choose for your commercial space will depend on factors such as your air circulation needs, desired level of indoor air quality, and local temperatures and climate.
Types of ventilation
- Natural ventilation: Natural ventilation uses outdoor air to provide air circulation within your facility. When doors and windows are opened, changes in air pressure pull fresh outdoor air into your building, providing improved air quality and improvements in indoor comfort levels. The use of natural ventilation can be restricted because of outdoor temperatures, weather events such as rain and storms, and high levels of pollen and other allergens in the outdoor air.
- Mechanical ventilation: Mechanical ventilation systems rely on fans, ventilating equipment, and other mechanical devices to produce indoor air circulation. Mechanical ventilation is very common, but can increase your energy expenses as a result of the electricity the equipment uses.
- Mixed-mode ventilation: This type combines natural and mechanical ventilation to achieve a best-case balance between the two ventilation types. What ventilation can remove from your indoor air
The pollutants in a commercial setting can be more plentiful than those in a residential location. Manufacturing processes, the presence of numerous members of the public, and pollutants generated from merchandise and raw materials can seriously degrade indoor air quality. Some of these pollutants include:
- Particulates: Small particles and pieces of inorganic solid matter that can be inhaled, such as dirt, pollen, wood or metal fragments, fibers, powders, and other solid matter.
- Organics: Living microorganisms that can cause disease and discomfort, including bacteria, germs, viruses and mold spores.
- Fumes: Gaseous material that smells bad or causes physical discomfort, such as odors from paints, solvents, cleaning supplies, fuels or pesticides. Why do commercial spaces need additional ventilation?
- Increased amounts of pollutants: The air in a commercial facility can contain higher levels of pollutants than residential settings. In a manufacturing facility, for example, microscopic particles and pollutants can easily enter the air from processes such as painting, cutting, sawing, sanding and treating material.
- Lack of natural ventilation: Many commercial settings have limited sources of natural ventilation available; employees usually cannot simply open doors and windows to let in fresh air.
- Constant exposure: Employees and staff members are constantly exposed to the pollutants in the air of a commercial facility because they can’t just get up and leave to escape contaminants. Personal protective equipment such as masks and filtered breathing equipment can help in severe situations, but this solution is only partly effective. Mechanical ventilation is usually the best option
Mechanical ventilation systems will provide the best and most reliable air filtration and cleaning. Depending on the climate in your local area, you may choose one of the following mechanical ventilation styles.
- Supply ventilation: Fresh outdoor air is pulled in through air intake vents and is distributed to points throughout your commercial facility by a powerful fan and a ductwork system. This type of ventilation is most effective in hot or mixed-temperature climates.
- Exhaust ventilation: Indoor air is constantly sent outdoors, reducing the amount of contaminants in your commercial spaces. Exhaust ventilation is best for cold climates.
- Balanced ventilation: Equal amounts of air are brought into and exhausted out of your commercial facility. Energy and heat recovery ventilators (ERVs and HRVs), for example, recover some of the heating or cooling energy in outdoing air and use it to preheat or precool incoming fresh air. Balanced ventilation systems are appropriate for use in all types of climates.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about ventilation in commercial spaces and the best type of ventilation to use in these applications, as well as to view projects that we’ve worked on, please visit our website! We provide quality services in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.