The Function of an Air Exchange Ventilation System
Air exchange ventilation systems are used in many different applications and situations. They are usually an adjunct to an existing heating, ventilating or air conditioning (HVAC) system. This type of system includes fans, heat exchangers, air cleaners and a duct system that carries the air throughout the building. Air exchanges also may incorporate other types of cooling equipment such as refrigeration units or dehumidifiers. Air exchanges, also sometimes called air conditioners, are designed to draw hot air from inside the building and push out cooler air from the outside. The way air is cooled or heated depends on the conditions during the season and the location where the air exchanges are located.
An air exchange ventilation system is most commonly used in central air conditioning systems. Central air conditioning systems draw air from the home and deliver it into the building. A system such as this can greatly reduce energy costs as it reduces the demand for cooling or heating by providing conditioned air throughout the home. However, if the temperature inside your home changes by reason of weather conditions such as rain or snow, it's easy for your central air conditioning system to "freeze up" because it takes the air it needs for the purposes of conditioning to provide you with comfortable temperatures. In these situations, the use of air exchange is necessary.
Air exchangers are used in air exchange ventilation systems because they provide the means for different temperatures to be maintained in the building. If your home is cold, then the air exchange ventilation system provides controlled temperatures inside the home. Conversely, if your home is warm, the air exchangers provide a controlled temperature outside the home. There are various types of air exchange in use today. The most common ones are the surface-mounted, or open air exchangers and the enclosed box type air exchangers.
Surface mounted air exchangers: These are the more commonly used, because they are simpler and easier to install than their more expensive cousins, the enclosed box type air exchangers. Their major advantage over the boxed variety is that they don't need to have their ventilation system concealed. With these units, fresh air can easily be obtained from the outside. The drawback, however, is that the flow through the vents is limited, resulting in reduced air quality.
Enclosed air exchangers: Air exchange ventilation systems with enclosed boxes have vents that direct clean fresh air inside the home. In fact, with these systems, fresh outdoor air is required to enter inside the home. However, fresh outdoor air is required to enter because without it, your home would not be cool enough and the ventilation wouldn't be effective. It is therefore important that the venting be efficient and controlled for the system to work well.
There are also portable air exchangers that can be used for small spaces. They are very effective at bringing in fresh air into a room or office. These are usually used for temporary ventilation needs during events where large sums of people are gathered. A portable air exchanger is also a handy item to take along on camping trips. Portable air exchangers can be moved from one location to another easily so that people can enjoy fresh outdoor air wherever they go.