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Classification of Ventilation Systems

Ventilation systems can be classified by functions, distribution strategies or by ventilation principles.

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It is common to classify ventilation systems by functions, distribution strategies, ventilation principles - or by combinations of them all.

Classifying by Function

It is common to classify a ventilation system by function:

  • Ventilation - Supply and evacuating of air with the main purpose to keep the atmospheric climate according the requirements
  • Climate - Supply and evacuating air with main purpose to keep the temperature and the atmospheric climate according requirements
  • Heating or cooling - Recycling system with the main purpose to supply the building with necessary heat or cooling
  • Combined system - The functions above more or less combined in one system

Classifying by Distribution

A ventilation system can also be classified by distribution:

  • Centralized - A central plant supplies and extract air to and from the whole building
  • Decentralized - Each room/area of the building has it's own ventilation unit
  • Combined - Both centralized and decentralized systems used

Classifying by Ventilation Principle

A ventilation system can also be classified by the ventilation principle and air flow:

  • Displacement air flow through the room - CAV (Constant Air Volume) or VAV (Variable air volume
  • Mixed air flow through the room - CAV (Constant Air Volume) or VAV (Variable air volume.

Examples of Ventilation Systems Classifications

  • Single-Zone Constant-Volume System
  • Single-Zone Constant-Volume System with Reheating
  • Multi-zone System
  • Induction Unit System
  • Variable-Air-Volume System
  • Dual-Duct System
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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2003). Classification of Ventilation Systems. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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