We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

Why Are Air Vents in the Walls of Older Homes?

Updated November 21, 2016

In the days before central heating and air conditioning, houses had air vents to move air around the enclosed space for ventilation, oxygenation and temperature control.

Loading ...

Exterior Wall Vents

In older brick homes, air vents were placed in walls to let moisture move out of the space between the exterior and interior walls so that mould would not grow there. Modern moisture barriers and sealants have largely replaced this function.

Interior Wall Vents

Air vents in interior walls were designed to let air flow from room to room so that all rooms were properly ventilated. In winter, air warmed by a single heat source (a fireplace or stove) could heat several rooms. In summer, even an interior room with no windows--such as a bathroom--could have adequate air exchange.

Open or Close

Sealing some air vents in an older home can improve its energy efficiency and still allow enough ventilation. It can also prevent dust and insects (or even larger creatures) from coming in. On the other hand, if a home is too tightly sealed, indoor air pollution can become worse than that outdoors. Obliterating air vents completely as a design element from something like a Victorian or Craftsman restoration could affect the interior architectural design and alter its value as a period piece.

Loading ...

About the Author

Loading ...