The top 8 ventilation and indoor air quality myths.

We have all been spoon fed the vast importance of ventilation and the resulting indoor air quality over the last couple of years since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Typically, ventilation removes stale air and replaces it with cleaner air. These systems can be coupled up energy efficiency technologies such as heat recovery to make them even more effective for the end user.

Ventilation is important in pretty much every indoor environment, keeping people safe around the world. However, it is important to understand the common myths surrounding ventilation so that you don’t end up making any mistakes when it comes to ventilation.

Let’s take a look at some of the common myths we have come across from our experience of working in the HVAC industry.

Ventilation myths number 1: “More is better?!”

There are some things in life where the phrase “more is better” is perfectly appropriate. However, when it comes to ventilation, this isn’t always the case. It is important that you invest in the right size of ventilation system for the space you have.

By not having sufficient ventilation installed, you may find that the environment suffers from moisture problems and poor indoor air quality. However, too many roof vents and your property may become more susceptible to leaks. There’s a fine balance!

It is always advisable to speak to a professional regarding the appropriate amount of ventilation, before investing, as they will be able to advise you how much ventilation you need per square inch of ceiling space.


Ventilation myths number 2: “Ventilation removes hot air.”

Many people are under the false impression that by installing ventilation, you remove warm air from a home and consequently cause a lack of efficiency. However, it is poor insulation that is the main culprit when it comes to warmth escaping a property. Additionally, poor installation can allow moist air into a space which is likely to form condensation, causing further deterioration of the insulation. Now, ventilation can and will reduce condensation as it helps remove moisture from the air inside of a property.


Ventilation myths number 3: “Ventilation recycles old air.”

It is important to know the difference between air conditioning and ventilation. An air conditioning unit will cool a room by sucking in ambient air in the room, cooling it using a refrigerant cycle, and releasing it back into the space.

A ventilation system will bring in air from outside, which then mixes with the inside air and improves the air quality of a space and reduce issues such as moisture and mould. The only time ventilation may be seen as recycling old air is in a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system but instead of reusing stagnant air, this system takes the warmth from this air a pushes it back into the property. This is a fantastic system for reducing energy consumption and minimising heat loos especially during those cooler months.

Ventilation myths number 4: “Newly constructed homes are not at risk of having indoor air pollution.”

Although newly constructed homes are seen as being healthier to live in according to their EPC ratings, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. We believe that newly constructed buildings are at the same if not greater level of risk to indoor air pollution due to chemicals in the brand-new furnishings such as: cabinets, carpets, paints and pretty much anything that helps keep a building intact. Over time these chemicals will reduce but only with the help of a mechanical ventilation system pushing these harmful toxins out of a building and replacing it with clean, outdoor air.


Ventilation myths number 5: “The ducts within your building don’t need to be serviced that regularly.”

It’s crucially important to inspect ductwork every year (sometimes more depending on the size of the building) because little cracks or blockages in ducts can lead to severe health problems and leakage of different toxins and even gas in the air. Blocked ductwork can also hamper the effectiveness of a ventilation system, increasing energy bills and leaving you feeling very ill.


Ventilation myths number 6: “The indoor air in your property should smell somewhat good when you come from outdoors.”

This may seem like it should be true but in fact if when you step into your home, the indoor air shouldn’t smell like anything. It should have no odour of any sort. If that is the case and your home does smell, it proves that the ventilation system isn’t operating as it should and that maybe something is blocked within the system. Best to get it checked out by the professionals!

Ventilation myth number 7: “An air conditioning filter is all that you need to keep the air in your home clean.”

Hmm, no! We’ve pretty much already covered this in myth number 3, but air conditioning DOES NOT provide clean air. It simply cools down the air making it feel like it is clean. It gives the sense of cleanliness without actually doing it.

Now, air filters within your air conditioning system will help promote clean air as they block many toxins and allergens from being recycled back into the room but don’t actually have a method of removing them completely. Make sure you keep up to date with filter maintenance though! Check out more information here.


Ventilation myth number 8: “I read online that they’re not very effective.”

The internet gives us exceptional access to research that’s done around the world. There are lots of studies online that assess the effectiveness of ventilation and different types of vents. However, these laboratory or even real-world regional tests aren’t always applicable.

There are many regional differences between properties in different area and the effectiveness of a ventilation system will be different from one place to another. Heat, humidity, and precipitation differences mean that different ventilation tactics are needed in different regions.

Ventilation is both an art and a science, because of regional, landscaping, or even structural differences. Installing your own vents can be like treating your own illness based on something you saw online. Without a trusted and experienced specialist to look at your property, you could be taking a shot in the dark.

Do proper research!

We hope you found this informative and answered a few of your ventilation and indoor air quality myths and misconceptions. Many are false and some are even ridiculous to specialists like us. If you do your own research online, make sure you utilise trusted companies and/or analytical data, please!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a company that offers ventilation maintenance, design and installation services across the West Midlands, London, and surrounding areas, contact Mid-Tech Services today. Make sure to follow our journey on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram for more handy HVAC insights and news.