Man checking air filter

Common Ventilation Problems and Their Causes

Ventilation is an easy concept to grasp: Good quality air gets inside and bad air goes out. There are plenty of reasons good ventilation systems should be present in buildings: health, compliance, efficiency, and safety.

We’ve built a variety of machines to help us control the quality of air in our surroundings, such as boiler air separators, exhaust systems, and dirt filtration. While these fixtures work well when they’re operating as intended, they don’t always stay that way. A variety of things can mess up your ventilation system and it’s up to you to find the cause.

Here are the common ventilation problems to watch out for:

Indoor air contamination

Since a ventilation system takes in air from the outside and pushes the air out, it’s possible to contaminate the air that’s already in the building if the outside air is contaminated. The primary culprits behind this type of problem are usually things happening outside that contribute to dirty air. Most common examples include construction work, air pollution, and shifts in weather patterns.

Unconditioned air

One of the things to keep in mind is that air contains moisture. In hot or humid climates, this can be a problem since the air coming to an office will often contain plenty of water in it, which will then condensate into liquid form once it gets in the building. If the air isn’t treated in the ventilation system, this can cause serious water damage to the building.

Recycling of exhausted air

Sometimes, the exhaust vents can be positioned near the intake vents of a ventilation system. This is usually the product of poor design or placement, but other factors such as outside wind and current can also contribute to the issue. The result of this is that the majority of the air vented from the inside of the building just keeps returning to it; therefore, creating an unhealthy and uncomfortable working environment.

System imbalance

Woman cleaning filter

Another common issue that ventilation systems run into is improper system configuration. This problem is more prevalent with systems that use a central processor in order to regulate pressure (in comparison to a separate system that has controls from each site). Improper pressure flows can create an environment where there’s too much air flowing through, creating a draft. It can also cause little to no air to circulate at all.

While a ventilation system may function on a simplified model of moving air in and out, it is still very far from being a hundred percent efficient. This makes it very important for companies to conduct regular inspections, maintenance, and repair of their ventilation systems.

When configured correctly, a ventilation system can contribute to promoting the health and well-being of the people inside the building. It can also prevent adverse conditions from forming in the building and can make the entire structure a more comfortable place to be in. If you notice any signs of problems with your ventilation system, do not hesitate to call a professional to look into it and take the necessary action to fix the problem.