What to do if the ventilation in the apartment and the house does not work? Overview of possible causes and solutions

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Alena Bevz
Last update: December 2019

Agree, ventilation is the most inconspicuous and at the same time the most important of communications. But, unfortunately, they remember her only when her absence or poor work is felt: the windows fog up, the smoke from the kitchen does not disappear, and the smell from the bathroom spoils the atmosphere in the whole apartment.

These are signals that the air exchange is stopped or significantly reduced. What should I do if the ventilation in the apartment does not work: what should I do to restore it? We will talk about what to do if suddenly in the house / office / apartment there is nothing to breathe.

You will learn what functions the ventilation system performs, how to check its functionality, and what steps to take to fix the malfunction. After reading the article, you will be able to independently carry out a ventilation check, and in some cases, correct problems.

Varieties of ventilation systems

The classification of air ducts depends on how air flows in the ventilation:

  • natural;
  • artificial.

According to the purpose of the system can be:

  • exhaust (remove the exhaust air from the room);
  • supply (supply oxygen to the home).

The cheapest type of ventilation is natural. You do not need to purchase expensive equipment, as well as consume electricity for its operation.

However, a natural ventilation system may be ineffective in regions with adverse weather conditions.

House ventilation scheme
1.2 - Supply air openings; 3 - Exhaust pipe. The calculation of the correct operation of ventilation is carried out by the method of air exchange rate. This figure is 60 m³ for one resident of the room

For the artificial ventilation device, installation of ventilation equipment is required: air handling unitducts, recuperator, air heater, filters. The main advantages of this type are weather independence. The air in the room is mechanically ventilated. The optimal solution is a combination of natural and artificial hoods.

The principle of ventilation

The most common type of ventilation in our apartment buildings is natural. This is an extensive network of exhaust ducts connected to a common riser of a residential building. Such a channel has access to each apartment: in the bathroom and kitchen.

Exhaust openings are closed by grates. Air inflow occurs spontaneously through open windows, PVC window inlets, leaks in window and door frames, ventilation valves and similar devices.

Natural ventilation is provided by gravity:

  • differences in pressure and temperature indoors and outdoors;
  • wind power.

If there is no air exchange, musty air accumulates in the room, which leads to poor health of the residents, the windows fog up, and a fungus appears. To improve the microclimate, people have to additionally ventilate the housing. In the winter season, this step does not allow the efficient use of heat and electricity.

If airtight obstacles, such as plastic windows or an effective seal in the doorway, interfere with the natural movement of air, care should be taken to arrange forcing. In this case, fans are recommended to be installed in a false ceiling or directly under the ceiling itself.

Several channels are installed:

  • to provide fresh air for rooms;
  • for its removal after pollution from the room.

For air intake, living rooms are selected, and airflow is vented through exhaust openings located in kitchens, combined bathrooms, showers, separate toilets and bathrooms.

Ventilation grill
In living rooms, air ducts are not openly laid. In addition to ventilation grilles, no items of equipment should be installed

If the natural exhaust system does not work in the house or apartment, you need to contact the management company. Its employees will find out and eliminate the cause of the malfunction. If the methods are commonplace cleaning ventilation If they are ineffective, then a chamber is lowered into the ventilation shaft, with the help of which the cause and place of clogging are identified.

This can be a congestion created by compacted dust, or an ice plug, etc. In extreme cases, the mine is disassembled at the level of clogging. Such work can only be carried out by employees of a management company that is entrusted with the management of a residential property.

How to check ventilation performance?

You can check how efficiently ventilation manages its functions.

To do this, you need:

  • open a window;
  • attach a piece of tissue or toilet paper to the exhaust duct.

If the sheet does not react in any way, the channel is clogged, if it “sticks” to the grate, then ventilation is working.

Ventilation check
It is forbidden to check the functionality of ventilation with a fire (a lit match or a lighter). If a lot of dust or grease has accumulated in the mine, from the slightest spark, all this can erupt

Testing the efficiency of the ventilation system is carried out at a temperature of no higher than +5 on the street. In the hot season, the physical parameters of the air inside the house and beyond are equalized, because of what is natural, i.e. gravitational motion of the air mass does not occur.

Causes of malfunction of the exhaust system

Consider the most common causes that affect the quality of air exchange, and find out how to eliminate them. Some can be dealt with on their own, and to solve a particular type of problem, you will have to turn to the employees of the Housing Office, the Criminal Code or the Housing Association for help.

Ventilation clogged with debris

The most commonplace reason is garbage in the ventilation shaft.To identify this fact, you should remove the grill and use a flashlight to inspect the channel. If debris is within reach, then the blockage can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. In the case when the litter is too far away, it is forbidden for residents to remove it themselves.

The system is broken by neighbors

The operation of ventilation may be affected by the installation by neighbors of additional equipment, a powerful fan or cooker hoodwhich forcefully remove the exhaust air through the channel. For neighbors, the ventilation system works fine, but the fast airflow forms a damper, which prevents the exhaust system from working properly in other rooms.

Also, the reason may be a change of layout by neighbors. Such actions not approved by the housing inspectorate are considered illegal. They relate to an administrative violation and entail a fine, often with the full restoration of the components of the original layout.

Installation of sealed plastic windows

Despite a number of advantages of the new double-glazed windows (sound insulation, thermal insulation, simplicity of design), it is the windows that can become the reason why the air stagnates in the apartment.

Plastic window
Unlike wooden frames, they do not allow air from the street into the room. With their help, an apartment or a house becomes practically airtight. There is no oxygen supply and the hood does not work

The solution is simple - to arrange micro-ventilation. However, together with air, they penetrate into the room:

  • noise;
  • dust;
  • cold.

In the harsh climate of the northern regions, this is not the best solution to the problem. Then it is recommended to pay attention to modern equipment. For example, MagicAir is a smart climate system station.

Automatic ventilation system
Three cleaning filters are installed inside, thanks to which clean and fresh air will be circulated in the room, cleaned of allergens and unpleasant odors

You can set the necessary parameters even from a smartphone:

  • carbon dioxide level;
  • humidity;
  • temperature.

This system will allow you to forget about the problems with ventilation in the house and apartment.

If you are only thinking about replacing wooden windows with a plastic analog, pay attention to models with an integrated supply valve. Such a solution will solve two problems at the same time: tightness and air circulation.

How to ensure proper ventilation?

If natural ventilation is ineffective, the only solution is a forced air circulation device. Powerful cope with this task. exhaust systems, which eliminate stagnation of air in the room, and also allow you to get rid of unpleasant odors.

The system is installed in the kitchen or in the toilet. The equipment is launched as needed. For convenience, you can configure the inclusion of the hood along with the light.

However, it should be noted that the hood will only work correctly if the windows are ajar. After all, the air drawn by the fan must be replaced by something. And if you take it nowhere, then it can be taken from another hood installed by the neighbors, from the toilet and other rooms.

Solve the problem with ventilation will help supply valvesthat take air from the street. A hole is made in the outer wall of the house to install them. Today, the range of supply valves is quite wide. The most popular models are those designed to be installed between the window and the battery.

Supply valve
The valve is an adjustable damper and an outer tube. The tube is protected by rain grate from rainwater and debris. A soundproof box is installed in the valve indoors

The disadvantages of this design:

  • if there is no heat source near the valve, then cold air goes down and starts to “pull”;
  • valve operation is effective only with a significant difference in temperature indoors and outdoors;
  • in winter it can blow even from a closed valve;
  • for the supply valve to work adequately, a prerequisite is the serviceability of the hood in the room.

Before purchasing a supply valve, it is recommended that you carefully study the characteristics of the device.

Today, the popularity of breathers is growing. They supply more air than valves. In addition, due to the presence of built-in filters in the room where this equipment is installed, year-round air cleaning is provided, and in winter it automatically warms up.

Another reason why the ventilation in the room can function inefficiently is the lack of a ventilation gap laid down between the floor and the interior doors according to the standards.

Interior doors
The circulation of air in the room is also disturbed when the interior doors are too close to the floor. The required distance from the door to the floor is 2 cm. The solution to the problem is to install a ventilation grill in the lower part of the door

Properly organized ventilation in the house allow residents to feel comfortable even with windows and doors closed.

Ventilation does not work: where to go?

The complaint about the ventilation in the apartment should be sent to the management company, the housing office or the management of the housing estate. The statement should detail the problem. After that, the appeal will be considered and a brigade will be sent to you to clean the ventilation shaft. The procedure is performed from the roof. A sinker is attached to a long cable, which rushes into the shaft and knocks down all the obstacles in its path.

However, in our country it is not so simple. Most often, after the application is submitted, the management company takes time to visit the engineer. And even after visiting him, the problem is not solved. The fact is that the duties of fans include only cleaning the exhaust duct, if it is clogged. If the cause is not a blockage, these are your problems.

The explanation of this outrageous fact is encrypted in document SP 60.13330.2016 “Heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Updated edition of SNiP 41-01-2003. ”

ZhEK's response to the statement
According to article 4.7, ventilation of living quarters should be carried out naturally through the influx of air through openings in the window sashes, windows, transoms and ventilation ducts. To stimulate the natural movement of air, he needs to provide an influx

Previously, wooden frames provided excellent airflow, but modern plastic structures make the room almost airtight. There is no air supply, the hood does not work, the inspector recommends ventilating more often.

When asked why the ventilation in the house does not work, the inspector will explain that the air flow needs a way, and will advise to keep the windows ajar. In this case, it is recommended to take matters into your own hands. If there is no possibility to open the window leaves and the window inlet constantly, it is necessary to install additional ventilation equipment: exhaust or wall inlet valve, breather or air conditioning with fresh air intake from the street.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Do-it-yourself inspection and cleaning of the ventilation shaft:

To maintain the integrity of the apartment and at the same time ensure free air circulation while maintaining a comfortable indoor microclimate, follow simple recommendations:

  • to clean the ventilation duct, you need to contact the organization that controls the apartment building (in a private house this event is carried out independently);
  • leave windows open in micro-ventilation mode;
  • ventilate the room more often.

If the above measures do not suit you and you want to forget about ventilation problems forever, the installation of additional ventilation equipment, such as a breather, will be the best solution.

Want to share your own ventilation problems or how you solved them? Write comments, please, in the block below, ask questions on the topic of the article, publish a photo. It is possible that your tips will be very useful to site visitors.

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