How Much Fresh Air Do You Need In Your Soundproof Studio?

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If you have been following my youtube channel, emails or podcast for some time you may know that I am a big fan of having ventilation in your soundproof recording studio. The reason is that when you soundproof a room correctly the room will be airtight. This means you will not have any fresh air circulating in and out of the room. Contrary to popular belief, mini-splits and home HVAC systems do not provide fresh air unless you have a fresh air system in place. Most older homes do not have fresh air systems because they were not necessary. Older homes tend to have so many cracks and small holes that the air from outside can make its way in. Newer homes on the other hand are build tighter, meaning they are similar to our soundproof rooms and need fresh air systems incorporated into the design. 


1) How Much Fresh Air Do You Need

According to Rod Gervais, the author of Home Recording Studio: Build It Like The Pros, a good rule of thumb is to provide 15cfm per person. CFM stands for cubic feet of air per minute. This is equal to 0.42 cubic meters per minute for my metric friends. 

Now the best way to provide fresh air to your home is to use either an ERV or HRV. This article will not go in depth into what they are, but just know that an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) will help recover moisture and heat during ventilation while an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) mainly helps recover heat during ventilation. 

So when you are buying your ERV or HRV you need to know what size you unit you will need. 


2) Buying the Right Size Ventilation System 

So for my studio I am usually the main person working in my space. I occasionally will have clients and studio musicians in the space, but this leads to a total of 3 people max. I would there for want an ERV that delivers around 45 CPM to satisfy my ventilation needs. 

Now if you have a studio that has full bands in the live room or control room you will need a larger unit. For example, five people would need 75 CFM of airflow. 


3) Sizing The Unit

When you are looking for the right ERV or HRV for your home studio build make sure to begin your search by sizing the right unit. If we go back to our example before, I would look for an ERV that provides 75 CFM. 

Just doing a quick google search I came up with a unit that would work for this example. The Fantech AEV80 provides 80 CFM and would adequately provide enough fresh air for 5 people. I have a Fantech ERV and it has worked wonderfully. 



So, it is not so complicated, but you do want to remember that each person in your studio will need 15CFM of fresh air. By incorporating a fresh air system into your studio design you are setting yourself up for success and lasting health in your soundproof studio for years to come.