Ventilation cleaning: cleaning the ventilation ducts in an apartment building
Many residents of multi-storey buildings, especially old buildings, can tell about what culinary preferences their neighbors have, what they indulged in for dinner and what served for lunch. However, we are not talking about telepathy, the neighbor's menu can be recognized simply by the smell that is felt in the apartment.
If this happens all the time, it means that ventilation needs cleaning, which has ceased to cope with the functions assigned to it. Our recommendations will help restore normal air exchange in the apartment. Minor blockages can be eliminated independently, and to solve more complex problems will have to call specialists.
We will tell you how the ventilation system of the house is arranged, what are the causes and signs of a malfunction of its operation. Here you will learn how to set up exhaust air and supply fresh air. For visual perception, photo collections, diagrams, videos are attached to the article.
The content of the article:
- Functional purpose of ventilation
- The device of a common ventilation system
- Natural air exchange in the apartment
- Reasons for inefficient hood operation
- Signs of an urgent need for cleaning
- Ventilation inspection by licensed services
- Self-cleaning ventilation duct
- System upgrade to improve performance
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Functional purpose of ventilation
The air we breathe in the apartment only seems clean. In fact, it absorbs all the smells coming from the kitchen, carbon monoxide from the stove. Particles of dust, villi from clothes, carpets, and pet hair fall into it.
Harmful microorganisms and bacteria accumulate in the air, which contribute to the development of serious diseases, moisture and steam coming from the bathroom, cause the formation of fungus and captivity. All this negatively affects the microclimate of the room, contributes to the appearance of lung diseases, allergies and other ailments.
Ventilation, which performs several important functions, helps to avoid negative consequences for health:
- provides clean air to the apartment,
- allows you to remove odors, dust, bacteria, carbon monoxide and other harmful components from the room;
- regulates humidity level.
Ventilation is one of the vital engineering communications of an apartment building. The State Commission will never accept an object in which the ventilation system is absent or faulty.
The device of a common ventilation system
House ventilation is a complex engineering system, its arrangement depends on a number of factors, among which the most important is the total number of storeys of the building.
The installation of ventilation shafts in multi-storey buildings is made according to different schemes, eg:
- Each apartment has its own exhaust duct with access to the roof.
- Exhaust ducts coming from the apartments are connected into one horizontal duct, which collects all the incoming air, and then through the common channel leads to the roof.
- Exhaust satellite channels leave each apartment in a common shaft leading to a warm attic, which is used as an intermediate chamber. In the attic there is one large extractor hood to remove all the air to the roof.
The ventilation performed according to the first scheme is effective for low buildings. It was very common in earlier times, when mostly houses were built not higher than four floors. The arrangement of such a system requires a lot of space, and it is not practical to use it for high houses, so today it is practically not used.
The second scheme was used everywhere in Khrushchev and in houses of 9-16-storey buildings. In new buildings, the latter scheme is most often used, which is considered the most effective ventilation system for buildings with large floors.
Natural air exchange in the apartment
There are a number of requirements that ventilation in residential premises must meet.
In accordance with GOST 30494-2011 it must provide:
- air quality indoors not lower than the permissible limits (up to 1000 СО2 cm3 / m3);
- optimum humidity premises within 30-60%;
- air velocity no more than 0.2 m / s.
Apartment buildings use natural ventilation. In each apartment (in the bathroom, toilet, kitchen, pantry) there are exhaust ducts through which the dirty waste air leaves the room. Streams of clean air enter the apartment through the windows, cracks in the windows and doors.
Such a ventilation scheme was previously used everywhere in the construction of five and nine-story houses. In the old days, wooden windows were installed in the houses, which, due to the large number of slots, did their job well.
However, in new homes, this scheme works inefficiently, since metal-plastic window structures are tight and do not allow air to pass through. In modern buildings, forced ventilation systems and a variety of supply and exhaust devicesthat ensure optimal operation of the house ventilation.
Reasons for inefficient hood operation
The problems in the operation of the exhaust system are familiar to the owners of apartments built in the Soviet era. Residents of new buildings for the most part are deprived of the pleasure of attending the meal of their neighbors, as new houses are equipped with modern forced ventilation complexes.
Such systems do not allow odors into the apartment.
Reason # 1.The decrease in ventilation efficiency in old houses, in principle, is a fairly predictable process. The main reason is the banal clogging of the ventilation duct, which over time accumulates garbage, dirt, dust and other waste coming from the room.
As a result, the outlet narrows and becomes unable to fully process the dirty air that is taken.
In apartment buildings, united by a common ventilation shaft, pollution from individual channels enter the common house system. Gradually, the mine becomes clogged with debris and can become completely clogged. A process that lasts for years can cause the functioning of the ventilation system to be paralyzed.
This problem can be solved by duct restoration and eliminate the root causes of their partial or complete blockage.
Reason number 2. Another premise contributing to the deterioration of air exchange is the presence in the neighboring apartment of a powerful kitchen hood. However, this is understandable. Household natural ventilation is designed for air flow up to 90 m3/hour.
A single hood creates an airflow of more than 1000 m3/ hour, of course, neighboring ventilation ducts that go into a common shaft suffer from this. And if the hood is not one, but every second neighbor? The answer is obvious.
Reason number 3. The replacement of wooden windows with metal-plastic ones is also a factor negatively affecting the operability of the ventilation system. It turns out that the leakproofness inherent in modern double-glazed windows is not always playing into the hands of residents of old houses.
In Soviet times, only the lazy did not scold builders who made mistakes in installing windows and doors. As it turned out today, the "culprits" worked strictly according to the instructions for the benefit of residents, becausefor the full functioning of natural ventilation requires gaps, which were in abundance in old wooden windows.
The holes provide a constant flow of fresh air from the street, and hermetic metal-plastic constructions overlap it on the contrary. As a result, the humidity in the room rises, the windows fog up, mold and fungus form on the walls.
Reason No. 4. To a large extent, the operation of the ventilation system depends on the season. Most often, problems with the hood appear during the hot period, while in winter the hood works properly.
The fact is that the efficiency of the system with natural ventilation is directly dependent on the temperature difference inside and outside the building.
In summer, the temperature in the street and in the apartment is almost the same, therefore, problems appear. According to old SNiPs, it was assumed that in hot weather air exchange will be carried out by ventilating the room with open windows.
Signs of an urgent need for cleaning
The reasons for the poor ventilation listed above indicate one thing - the system needs constant monitoring and periodic cleaning.
You can understand that the ventilation duct needs to be cleaned by the following signs:
- dust, cobwebs formed near the exhaust vent, debris accumulated;
- the ventilation grill is covered with black coating, soot and grease;
- in the summer, the apartment began to heat up very quickly;
- after wet cleaning, after a short period of time, dust appears again;
- the drafts that occur in the apartment when the front door is opened are much weaker than before.
To finally make sure that the ventilation needs to be cleaned, you can additionally check each vent. To do this is quite simple with the help of improvised tools. When checking traction, it is necessary that at least one of the window leaves in the apartment is open.
Home methods for checking the performance of ventilation ducts:
- Bring a burning candle, lighter, or lit match to the ventilation grill. If there is good draft in the duct, the flame will be directed towards the hood. Fire burning evenly indicates a lack of ventilation.
- Take a piece of paper or a piece of newspaper and attach it to the hole. During normal operation of the ventilation system, the paper attracts to the grate, and it does not fall.
If it turns out that the ventilation does not work at all or works extremely poorly, you need to clean it. Cleaning of ventilation ducts in an apartment building is carried out by specialized services. In their arsenal there is inspection and cleaning equipment ventilation ducts.
But if the need arose, each tenant of the house can clean their own duct section independently.
Ventilation inspection by licensed services
The ventilation system is a common property, the management company is responsible for its maintenance and safe operation. In Government Decision No. 410, rules were developed that should guide the Criminal Code in inspecting and cleaning house ventilation ducts.
According to the Rules, the inspection of chimneys and ventilation, as well as their cleaning, must be carried out by licensed specialized companies. The check is carried out during any conversion or repair of the system, as well as if there was a lack of traction.
The frequency of the scheduled inspection is three times a year (before, after and in the middle of the heating season). Specialists have professional equipment with which they check the operability of the ventilation system.
A pneumatic brushing machine is used to clean the dirt. In addition, channel disinfection is carried out.
Self-cleaning ventilation duct
Despite the existing rules, many management companies do not appear in the apartments of residents for years to check the operability of the ventilation system. Therefore, residents of high-rise buildings are forced to periodically diagnose and clean their exhaust openings on their own.
The ventilation hatch can be cleaned with minor contamination, but if the dirt has accumulated in it for years, it is better to call specialists.
Self-cleaning is carried out as follows:
- Remove the ventilation grilles, they are well cleaned of dirt and dust and washed under running water.
- Cleans the walls of the ductthat you can get to. For work, use a metal brush or wire.
- Clean the hole from garbage with a vacuum cleaner.
Actually on this all homework for cleaning the ventilation holes ends. If there is a return draft in the duct and the smells of neighbors reach the apartment, you can replace the old ventilation grill with check valve model.
If they did not lead to the desired result, and the thrust in the channel remained at the same level, then there is a blockage in the common shaft. This is the work of special services that can be called through the Criminal Code.
System upgrade to improve performance
In houses of the old construction, mechanical cleaning of the ventilation shaft even by specialized services does not always bring the desired effect. However, it is possible to increase air circulation in the apartment. There are several affordable ways to improve ventilation.
If you decide to replace old wooden windows with modern metal-plastic constructions, choose double-glazed windows equipped with a micro-ventilation function. If you purchased ordinary plastic windows, you can install additional devices on them to ensure the flow of fresh air from the street.
For example, there are ventilating valves, you can additionally purchase special accessories that allow you to tightly close the windows.
Strengthen the air circulation in the room allows special supply and exhaust fans. There are window, ceiling and wall devices. In the toilet and bathroom you can install exhaust fan right at the entrance to the ventilation duct instead of the decorative grille.
The fan works from the mains, it can be connected to a common switch and then it will turn on with the light. You can draw an additional line and connect the device to a separate switch so that it works autonomously.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
How to independently check the ventilation in the apartment, you can find out from the video plot:
What to do if home ventilation does not work well, recovery of the exhaust duct:
How is professional cleaning of ventilation shafts in apartment buildings:
Ventilation has a leading role in ensuring safe living in an apartment. A negligent attitude to this system and neglect of the rules of care can lead to health problems, and for residents of gasified houses it can lead to even more serious consequences.
Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the state of ventilation and, if necessary, contact specialized services.
If you have experience in cleaning the ventilation duct of an apartment, please share the information with our readers. Leave comments and ask questions on the topic in the form below.