How to look after the ventilation in your home
Functional ventilation is an important part of the residents’ well-being and the condition of the building. By familiarising yourself with the instructions on this page, you can make sure that the ventilation in your home functions in the best possible way.
Feeling hot? Here’s what to do?
Hot summer weather naturally makes temperatures rise both outdoors and indoors. Seeking cool shade, drinking plenty of fresh water and avoiding strenuous exercise makes life easier for all two-legged and four-legged residents. In addition, we have listed some practical tips for controlling the temperature in your apartment.
Cooling tips for hot weather:
- Close curtains and blinds in sunny weather.
- Let fresh air into the apartment in the morning and in the evening. However, keep doors and windows closed during the day if the temperature is higher outside than in your apartment. Use cross ventilation, if possible.
- If you let air in through a glazed balcony, open at least one of the balcony glazing elements.
- Check that the exhaust and make-up air valves are clean and that the make-up air valve is open or in the summer position.
- Avoid using large electrical appliances, such as the oven or the sauna heater, as they increase the temperature in the apartment.
If none of the above helps and your apartment is still hot, we recommend measuring the temperature at a height of 1.1 metres in the room where you spend time. If the temperature exceeds +32 degrees Celsius, submit a fault report through the My Lumo service: lumo.fi/vikailmoitus. We will then perform a measurement of conditions to verify the temperature in the apartment in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
There is a problem with the ventilation if
- the window surfaces inside are steamy or frozen.
- there is condensed humidity on the structure surfaces.
- smells and smokes spread inside the apartment or from one apartment to another.
- the room air continuously feels stuffy.
- the bathroom dries slowly after using the shower/bath.
Exhaust air valves
Exhaust air valves can be found in the bathroom, toilet and kitchen, for example. In these rooms, there is a small gap under the door for the air to move. The valves have been adjusted to be open at all times. A blocked, removed or incorrectly adjusted valve prevents correct ventilation in your apartment and in your neighbours’ apartments.
By placing a piece of toilet paper in front of the exhaust air valve, you can check that the valve is functioning properly. The exiting airflow should carry the piece of paper.
It is recommended to clean the valves 2–3 times a year; however, valves located in the kitchen should be cleaned more regularly.
How to clean the air valves:
- grab the sides of the air valve with both hands
- detach the valve by pressing and turning anticlockwise or by directly pulling out
- bin the biggest piles of loose dust and rinse the valve with water
Make-up air valves
The make-up air valves are located in the upper part of the apartments’ outer walls, above the windows or inside the ventilation shutters. The make-up air valves usually have a filter for filtering coarse dust from the outdoor air. Regularly clean the valve and change the filters 1–2 times a year. Factors like air quality and traffic in your residential area impact the need for cleaning the valves.
If your apartment has mechanical ventilation, there are supply air valves in the bedrooms and in the living room for filtering and heating the entering air. Always keep the supply air valves open.
How to correctly weatherproof windows
If the make-up air is entering your apartment through the window structures, make sure that the windows have been correctly weatherproofed:
- the weather strips on the outer window have a 20 cm gap in the bottom centre.
- on the inner window, the gap is in the top centre.
The cooker hood is an important part of mechanical ventilation as it removes air from inside of the apartment. If the cooker hood in your apartment has a control panel, you can adjust the intensity of ventilation yourself. If there is no control panel, air automatically flows through the cooker hood.
The cooker hood must not be used without a grease filter as the filter prevents the exhaust air channels from getting dirty. Food smells generated during cooking are removed best if the kitchen windows and the balcony door are kept closed during cooking. This prevents the smells from spreading to the other rooms of the apartment or to your neighbours’ apartments.
Wash the grease filter of your cooker hood 2–3 times a year by hand or in the dishwasher.
The extractor hood improves ventilation in the kitchen during cooking. Remember to turn off the extractor hood after finishing cooking. Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions in maintaining and replacing the grease and odour filter. The grease and odour filter must be replaced approximately every two years.
Different types of ventilation systems
This is the most common ventilation system used in apartment buildings. The air is exhausted by using a shared exhaust fan. It is not possible to separately adjust ventilation for each apartment.
The make-up air enters the apartment from the window draught excluder gaps or through the make-up air valves in newer buildings or buildings that have undergone major renovations. The exhaust fan runs at full power during the most common hours of cooking and using the wash facilities, and at half power during other times of the day. During freezing weather conditions, the exhaust fan runs at low power in order to save energy and to ensure as little draft as possible inside the apartment.
This system is used in older buildings. The air is exhausted from the apartment with the help of gravity and through the flues. The make-up air enters the apartment from the window draught excluder gaps or through the make-up air valves in newer buildings or buildings that have undergone major renovations. Keeping the windows open during summer improves ventilation. An extractor hood equipped with a grease filter and a fan decreases the amount of smells and smokes generated during cooking.
Apartment-specific exhaust ventilation system
The air is exhausted by using an apartment-specific exhaust fan. The exhaust fan is continuously running and the ventilation efficiency can be adjusted by using the extractor hood’s control panel in line with the appliance’s instructions. The make-up air enters the apartment from the window draught excluder gaps or through the make-up air valves in newer buildings or buildings that have undergone major renovations.
Mechanical exhaust and supply ventilation system
In this ventilation system, the exhaust and supply airs pass through fans. The apartment’s supply air is filtered and sometimes preheated. Heat is recovered from the exhaust air. The ventilation is continuously running and the efficiency is adjusted in a centralised manner or separately for each apartment by using the control panel of the cooker hood.
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