Maybe you’ve heard the terms central ventilation, local ventilation and hybrid ventilation and wondered what’s the difference and why does it matter? Here’s a brief explanation to help sort it out.

A central ventilation system can be defined as a centrally located ventilator specifically designed to provide controlled, continuous, low-level movement of air in and out of the home for general ventilation. It contributes to healthy indoor air for everyone in the home, and protects the home from mold and mildew.

A central ventilation system provides low-level, continuous flow using one of three methods: supply, exhaust or balanced. The continuous low-level flow of air removes and dilutes the pollutants commonly found in homes. A central ventilation system should not be confused with a central heating or air conditioning handling unit.

Local ventilation, such as bathroom and kitchen fans, is designed to remove the high levels of humidity, odors, and other pollutants that are typically created by common activities such as take a shower or cooking. This type of ventilation eliminates these pollutants at the source, but it does not capture it all. Local ventilation methods do not have the distribution efficiency to provide the whole-house continuous ventilation that tight homes need.

Hybrid ventilation systems provide continuous low-level ventilation for the entire home, as well as local (or boost) ventilation for kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms, if necessary. Some systems have the additional benefit of a heat or energy recovery ventilator to maximize heating and cooling efficiency. See the Aldes VentZone® Zoned IAQ with Heat or Energy Recovery video for details and benefits of this method.