Date Posted: September 8, 2017
The BC Building Code contains requirements for the introduction of fresh air into BC residences and the exhaust of stale, moisture-laden air. These requirements protect your health and the structural integrity of your dwelling unit. View a simple, graphic explanation of why we ventilate.
The most common approach to meeting these requirements is the installation of a bathroom exhaust fan connected to a timer which will exhaust your home for at least two, 4-hour periods per day during peak use (usually morning and evening). The building code allows for continuous exhaust fans as well as HRV systems; but these are not required.
Trained Ventilation System Installers
TECA offers province-wide training for industry members on the correct installation of code-required ventilation systems. This is particularly important as large exhaust fans can threaten the safety of gas fired appliance operation if adequate make-up air is not provided.
Heating contractors and/or their employees who successfully complete Quality First™ Ventilation Guidelines training are issued certification stamps for stamping TECA Mechanical Ventilation Checklists which are required by many BC municipal and district inspection departments to assure your health and safety. Check with your local inspection department to see if they use Mechanical Ventilation Checklists. Ask your heating contractor if he or his employees have HVCI Ventilation Guidelines Certification Stamps. View the names of current Quality First™ Ventilation Certification holders.
Make-Up Air Fans: What you need to know
Homeowners, builders and equipment suppliers should be aware there is a premium to pay for use of high cfm range hood exhaust fans. This is because large fans can create unsafe conditions due to the fact they can depressurize your home. Depressurization can cause chimneys and vents to reverse and extinguish pilot lights or cause carbon monoxide from smoldering fireplaces to enter the home. This is very dangerous. In order to protect the public from depressurization, contractors are required to install make-up air fans for large (in proportion to your home) exhaust fans. Also due to the volume of cold outside air these make-up fans introduce into your home, the outside air must be tempered. This tempering is usually done with an in-duct heater. So installing a very large kitchen range hood fan can increase the costs of installations from $1000 to $5000 dollars depending on your home. And your electricity bill will also increase to run the duct heater.
Your Quality First™ Ventilation Guidelines trained contractor can quickly calculate the optimum size for your range hood fan or the costs of installing a large fan with a make-up air fan and duct heater. Ask your heating and ventilating contractor if they have a Ventilation Certification. They will gladly show you their laminated wallet card with their number or you can check the list for the installer's name here.