Ventilation keeps the air in the apartment clean. The purpose of ventilation is to ensure that unclean air is removed from the apartment and that fresh air is brought in instead.
In Hoas properties, cooking range hoods are connected to the ventilation system. In practice, this means that the range hood is always on. It runs at full speed in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. The tenants cannot adjust the power of the ventilation system themselves. A powered air extraction system draws air from the parts of the apartment that need ventilation most, like the kitchen and the bathroom.
Gravity ventilation system
A gravity ventilation system is based on the fact that warm air in the apartment is lighter than the cold air outside. This means that indoor air rises up through ventilation shafts and exits that way. When using gravity ventilation, it is particularly important that air vents are open and clean.
Fresh air flows into the apartment through fresh air vent. Humidity and smells are removed through exhaust air vents. The air vents must be kept clean and they must not be blocked. Blocking air vents disrupts the ventilation of your apartment and may affect the whole building. Blocking the vents also causes draught in the apartment and cooking smells may linger in the apartment for a long time or you may get odours drifting in from other apartment.
In addition to ventilating the apartment, exhaust air vents are used to remove humidity and odours from the apartment. This is why they are placed in bathrooms, saunas, toilets and kitchens. There may also be a range hood in the kitchen. You can test how well the exhaust air vents work with a piece of paper. Place the piece of paper on the exhaust air vent. A sufficient airflow will hold the paper up to the vent. If the airflow is too strong, the paper will look like it’s about to be sucked into the vent and if it is too weak, the paper will fall off.
Cleaning the exhaust air vent
The tenant is responsible for cleaning the exhaust air vents. Clean the exhaust air vents at least twice a year.
If there is not too much dust in the exhaust air vent, clean it with a vacuum cleaner and wipe it with a damp cloth, if necessary. If there is a lot of dust inside, you may need to remove the vent and wash it.
- Detach the vent by rotating it counter-clockwise by the outer rim.
- Give it a tug and pull it out. Do not touch the inner ring, as that is adjusted for the correct airflow.
- Wash the vent with dishwashing liquid and wipe it dry.
- To reattach the vent, place the wire attachments on the vent opening and push firmly.
The air that is removed through the exhaust air vents is replaced by fresh air entering the apartment via fresh air vents. The vents are usually situated within window structures or on outer walls, sometimes also on the top part of the doorframes.
There are many types of fresh air vents. If there is no fresh air vent, air is replaced through the gaps in windows and doors. Fresh air vents must not be blocked and they must be left open. If you feel a draught from the fresh air vent in the winter, you can close it partially, but even in the winter you must not close it entirely. If you do this, you must also remember to open the vents a little more when the weather warms up.
If you encounter any problems, please check first that air vents are not blocked or closed. Check also that the vents are clean, and if they are not, clean them to see if this helps with the problems. If none of this helps, submit a fault report.
Always use the designated airing windows for airing your apartment. The larger windows are not intended for airing. Their frames may collapse if they are used incorrectly for airing.
Don’t forget to shut the windows when you leave the apartment. Cross-draught may slam the window shut with force and shatter or damage the window panes. You might also get rain in through an open window. Rain or snow coming through a window for some time can cause water damage, which will then be considered to be caused by negligence on the tenant’s part.
In the winter and particularly at extremely low temperatures, you should avoid airing. If you leave a window open for a long time in the winter, radiators may freeze and potentially burst. By reducing airing you also save energy as heat doesn’t escape the apartment.