Ventilation is the movement of fresh air around a closed space; or the system that does it.

Ventilation pipe and fan

Ventilation is...

In latin: ventilare means to 'expose to the wind'.

In medicine: the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our lungs, i.e. 'breathing'.

Today: it means to bring in outdoor air and replace indoor air of the occupied space, i.e. the act and/or the installation:

  1. the act or process of ventilating or the state of being ventilated, or
  2. an installation in a building that provides a supply of fresh air.
Would you like to know more about the history of ventilation?

What is ventilation?

Proper ventilation is essential for breathing, as the oxygen level is gradually reduced in an inhabited area, thus removal or dilution of air pollutants, smoke and odor, controlling humidity and temperature within the space being used is required.

The ventilation process is comprised of the exchange of air between the inside and outside environment of a designated space, as well as internal circulation within the space. It is achieved naturally through openings or mechanically by using various types of fans.

Ventilation that involves heat exchange, humidity control or air purification are complicated mechanical procedures.

Ventilation and the indoor environment

Ventilation is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used to control indoor temperature, humidity, and air motion to benefit thermal comfort, satisfaction with other aspects of indoor environment, or other objectives.

Ventilation is about desing and technology. And all is ensured by the set of building standards, and many more regulations.

Want to know more about building standards?

Where is ventilation required?

Ventilation is required for a wide range of areas:

  • Houses - bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and toilets
  • Offices - work places, common spaces and toilets 
  • Factories - work places, shop floors, laboratories, depots, stores, canteens, common spaces and utility areas 
  • Public places - shoppping markets, hospitals, food courts, restrooms and common spaces 
  • Confined spaces - all accessible confined spaces, containers, tanks, sewerage systems and mines
Insufficient ventilation is more dangerous than all other causes together.
John Griscom, Surgeon