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Ventilation: The Only Way That Passive Vents Will Work

January/February 2016
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2016 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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December 31, 2015
Exhaust-only ventilation is one of the most common strategies for single-family and multifamily buildings alike. In multifamily structures, exhaust is pulled out of the apartments, often in bathrooms and/or kitchens, and fresh air is intended to replace it. Where this “fresh air” comes from can be a mystery. It may come from cracks or intentional vents in the exterior envelope, or it may come from other apartments or the hallway through cracks or corridor door undercuts. Often it comes from several of these sources, depending on where the apartment is located in the building and on wind, temperature, mechanical system balance and operation schedules, and occupant behavior. It really is difficult to say.

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