Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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How to Increase Ventilation in an Apartment: Tips for Landlords and Property Managers

With winter approaching in New York City, it’s vital to make sure your tenants will be comfortable spending more time inside. For many property owners in urban areas, ventilation is a concern. In this post, Antler Pumps discusses how to increase ventilation in apartments. Follow these tips to improve indoor air quality, reduce the risk of airborne illnesses, and keep your tenants happy.

Common Ventilation Problems with Apartment Buildings

Multiple issues for property owners

Apartment buildings in New York City come with their own unique challenges. The size and density of the metropolis make providing clean air and adequate ventilation challenging sometimes.

Some of the issues we see most frequently include:

  • Poor upkeep of ventilation equipment
  • Dirty or blocked ducts
  • Buildings not originally designed for today’s HVAC systems
  • New temperature, wind, air pressure, and storm patterns with climate change
  • Exhaust-only ventilation, with no fresh air supply side

These problems can result in a host of consequences for building occupants. They may have increased incidents of allergy and asthma attacks. Undesirable odors may drift from one apartment to neighboring ones or to public spaces like hallways. Because tenants are more sensitive to building airflow issues these days, they may be worried about health fallout during cold and flu season.

Why Natural Ventilation Isn’t Always the Best Solution

Impractical and impure

Many New Yorkers still follow a practice from the 19th century and earlier of flinging open windows to improve ventilation. In some cases this may be effective, but it’s not a reliable solution 100 percent of the time. And of course, many more modern buildings may not even allow for the windows to be opened at all.

During winter, opening windows lets out heat and lets in cold air. This can result in higher heating costs, which is undesirable if you’re footing the bill for your tenants’ utilities. It also creates drafts and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew.

Air coming in from outside may not be healthy either. Even if it looks clean, it may contain small particulate matter that can provoke allergies and asthma. Atmospheric elements such as smog, soot, dust, and pollen can be a toxic mix for tenants.

Tips to Increase Ventilation in Apartments Without Opening Windows

Update Your HVAC System

Some New York City apartments have a cobbled-together HVAC system that hasn’t been upgraded in quite a while. It may be outdated and not up to the job of handling airflow to modern standards. With so many pre-war apartment buildings in New York, this is a very common occurrence.

In this case, it will pay in the long run to upgrade the system. You may have added exhaust, but it will increase ventilation and boost airflow if you can further add fresh air delivery at the intake side, rather than recycling indoor air.

Keep Ducts and Filters Clean

No matter how good your HVAC system, it won’t function optimally if your ducts are dirty and you can’t remember the last time filters were changed. It’s worth the investment to schedule regular cleanings for all your ductwork and to change out filters as often as the manufacturer specifications recommend. Monitoring airflow before and after doing this should yield a noticeable difference.

Service Rooftop Exhaust Fans Regularly

Your apartment building’s rooftop exhaust fans are an integral part of the ventilation process. When they aren’t functioning properly, the quality and quantity of air in apartment units will suffer. Fans that haven’t been serviced routinely tend to have many of the same problems:

  • Blades or grills clogged with detritus like leaves, twigs, and blown trash
  • Poor snow and ice removal in wintertime
  • Corrosion of parts due to rust, acid rain, etc.
  • Electrical wiring wear and tear

You may notice your rooftop fans don’t work at all, or they only work intermittently. They may be noisy or trigger a circuit breaker to cut power to that line. All of these issues are signs it’s time to call in the experts to evaluate the situation for cleaning, repair, or replacement. You don’t want to wait until an exhaust fan fails completely to have it assessed.

Be sure to set up a protocol for cleaning your rooftop area periodically. You should always check it after major storms all year round, as well as regularly when the leaves start to fall. After it snows, clear the area around your fans to allow exhausted air to escape, and make sure fans don’t become covered in ice if you have a warm spell midwinter.

Install Spot Ventilation

Using ceiling fans can offer multiple benefits for you and your tenants. First, they improve airflow in any space and help move stale air downward, where it can ultimately be expelled from the building.

Ceiling fans also help save on energy costs. In the winter, a ceiling fan can circulate warm air via an updraft when it is set to rotate in a clockwise direction. Use a counterclockwise rotation in summer to create a direct downdraft and reduce air conditioning cooling expenses.

A ceiling fan is only one type of spot ventilation. You can also use small in-unit exhaust fans to help move air. Most commonly, these are found above the range in the kitchen and in bathrooms.

Use Small Fans and Air Purifiers

Small box and tabletop fans may provide further ventilation and can be employed in spots where it’s challenging to use any other means or where stale air seems to collect. Lately, air purifiers have become quite popular, and these can help remove unwanted elements from the air, rather than letting them blow around. They are ideal for removing viruses, pollen, pet dander, and many unpleasant odors from apartments.

Educate Tenants

Finally, a bit of tenant education can help, too. Ask them to let you know if they feel their ventilation is poor or if they have any exacerbation of asthma or breathing difficulties. They should also be sure to inform you if they hear any strange noises coming from the HVAC components. Remind tenants not to block registers and ducts with furniture, artwork, or other things that could impair airflow.

Do you need maintenance on your rooftop exhaust fans or other pump systems? Call Antler Pumps today for professional service. We can be reached at 212-534-2500, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.