Differences Between Spot Ventilation and Whole House Ventilation

Ventilation is essentially the exchange of outdoor and indoor air. When there isn’t proper ventilation, an otherwise airtight and insulated home will seal in moisture that can damage your home and toxic and dangerous pollutants like carbon monoxide. There are several types of ventilation with spot ventilation and whole-house ventilation being two of them. But, what is the difference between the two?

Spot Ventilation
Spot ventilation improves how effective whole house and natural ventilation is by removing indoor moisture and air pollution at its source. Spot ventilation uses localized exhaust fans like those used in bathrooms and above kitchen ranges.

Spot ventilation enhances natural ventilation. Natural ventilation is the uncontrolled movement of air from doors, windows or cracks in your home. Natural ventilation used to be a common method of ventilation by replacing indoor home air with fresh outdoor air.

But, if both natural and spot ventilation together aren’t meeting the ventilation needs of your home, you may want to think about using a whole-house ventilation method.

Whole-House Ventilation
Whole-house ventilation involves the use of duct systems and one or more fans to exhaust your home of stale air and draw in a fresh supply of outdoor air. A whole-house ventilation system provides uniform, controlled ventilation throughout your home. They might be:

Supply-only: Relies on the leakage of air from the home to exhaust stale air
Exhaust-only: Relies on air leakage into the home for fresh air
Balanced systems: Includes both fresh air and exhaust intake components

Whole House Fans
A whole house fan, as the name suggests, can greatly decrease the temperature of your entire home. But, the make and model of the whole house fan needs to be suitable for your home and its size in order for it to be effective.

You install a whole house fan on the upper level of your home in the ceiling, so it’s connected to your attic. Air-tight installation, a central location and proper ventilation are all important for the successful operation of a whole house fan. A whole house fan provides many benefits, including:

High energy efficiency
High operation
Easy installation
Low cost
Low operating cost
Stale air removal
Reduces the need for air conditioning

Ventilation for cooling and moving air is energy efficient. In some climates, the use of natural ventilation is good enough to keep your home comfortable, but you need to supplement it with ceiling fans, spot ventilation, window fans and whole house fans.