Ventilation provision and use in homes in Great Britain: a national survey

Van Rooyen, Cairan and Sharpe, Tim (2024) Ventilation provision and use in homes in Great Britain: a national survey. Building and Environment, 257. 111528. ISSN 0360-1323 (

[thumbnail of Van-Rooyen-and-Sharpe-Ventilation-provision-and-use-in-homes-in-Great-Britain-a-national-survey]
Text. Filename: Van-Rooyen-and-Sharpe-Ventilation-provision-and-use-in-homes-in-Great-Britain-a-national-survey.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (558kB)| Preview


People in Britain spend most of their time indoors within their homes. Whilst indoors, occupants are exposed to the indoor environment, which can affect comfort and health. Ventilation is the exchange of air between indoors and outdoors, which can alter the indoor environment and modify occupant exposures. However, ventilation can also contribute to heat loss, energy use and carbon emissions. Despite the importance of ventilation, there is no large-scale data on ventilation provision and use in British homes. To address this gap, this study undertook a questionnaire survey using an established survey organisation to identify installed ventilation provision and use in 1,861 British homes. A key focus was on relating the installed provision with long established building standards. These standards require mechanical ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms to extract moisture and pollutants at source, as well as trickle vents to provide background ventilation. The key findings are that 71% of homes did not have ventilation provision that met these standards. Homes built after the introduction of these mandatory building standards had a higher proportion of compliant provision, but 41% of these did not. Provision was poorer in older homes, with only 22% of homes built before 1991 having this ventilation provision. Only 11% of all respondents had mechanical ventilation, trickle vents and had also received information or advice on how to use their ventilation system. 22% of the respondents reported that they had mould or damp on walls or surfaces in their homes.