Passive Ventilation Systems
Research performed by Steven Winter Associates, Camroden Associates, and Tohn Environmental Strategies for the National Center for Healthy Housing
- Passive systems often over-ventilate buildings during the coldest weather and under-ventilate during milder weather.
- Trash chutes must be properly maintained to avoid trash chute exhaust to enter apartments as make-up air.
- Owners should specify performance-based contracts with vendors.
Well-ventilated buildings are less likely to experience odor or moisture or mold issues that are unhealthy and can trigger tenant complaints. Living in damp or moldy environments has been linked to increased risks of breathing problems, such as asthma. Many existing buildings have no fan-powered ventilation. This fact-sheet provides steps to improve indoor air quality in these buildings, by installing individual unit fans, providing outdoor air to the living spaces, or improving passive ventilation systems. The research was performed by Steven Winter Associates, Camroden Associates, and Tohn Environmental Strategies, and was made possible by the National Center for Healthy Housing.