ARTICLE Hamish Aitken

As new build homes are being sealed up to be more energy efficient, it means stale air is more likely to be trapped inside; becoming damp and polluted.

Furthermore, indoor air pollutants are ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. Indoor air is seven times more polluted than outdoor air in many existing New Zealand homes, and up to 100 times worse in new homes.

Moisture levels can build up and seep into house materials, causing dampness and mould. For most New Zealand homes, the only way to achieve fresh air ventilation is by opening up windows and doors. This can result in the loss of valuable heat and it can be a security risk.

As a result, a lot of home will not be adequately ventilated, exposing inhabitants to stale polluted air, higher moisture, and lower oxygen levels.

The Building Code requires buildings to have “adequate ventilation, consistent with their maximum occupancy and their intended use.“

The solution is to use ducted ventilation systems with heat recovery capabilities, which bring fresh air in from outside the building.

The majority of ventilation systems installed in New Zealand homes are the ‘positive pressure’ type, which pumps air from the roof space.

However, roof space air isn’t fresh and doesn’t satisfy Clause G4 of the Building Code. People buy these systems to reduce their ‘crying windows’, but end up with ‘crying buildings’ instead.

Not only can they force valuable heat out of the house, but can also push moisture into the materials of the building. What’s needed is true fresh air.

Balanced Ventilation systems have two air paths; one that brings in fresh outside are and the other that extracts the stale moist air. A heat exchanger works between these airflows to ensure that the winter warmth is kept inside the home.

Balanced Ventilation systems are common overseas but less so in New Zealand, because they’ve been too expensive until now.

Premier Air have cost effective balanced ventilation with true heat recovery for New Zealand homes. Use these systems to ensure your home is well ventilation without loss of valuable heat or compromised security.

You might be interested in how to Prevent a damp, cold and mouldy home. 

Renovate Magazine Logo

This article by Hamish Aitken featured on page 39 in Issue 012 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.

Get in touch with Refresh to discuss your home renovation project

If you would like to discuss ventilation systems for your next renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.

*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

Get in touch

Get in touch if you are interested
in a quote or consultation

The Renovation & Outdoor Living Show
Plan your home renovation virtually with Refresh Renovations
Renovate Handbook Download