We ventilate our homes for many reasons, not least because we want to comply with building regulations, but mainly because we wish to maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. We could adopt a seemingly simpler and cheaper approach, such as holes in the walls and simple bathroom fans to take out the warm moist air, but as we know this is not be best option in the long run.
We are very familiar with moisture in the air outside. It is an integral part of our maritime climate in Ireland and the UK. The relative humidity is high and indeed for a lot of the time it is in excess of 88%. For a comfortable indoor environment it should ideally be between 40% and 60%. A heat recovery ventilation system will help achieve this.
With the price of fossil fuels on the rise we as home-owners need to consider all options and methods of minimizing our energy requirement. We do this by ensuring that our homes are not just highly insulated but are also draught free. Draughts aren’t just a matter of cold air coming in and warm air leaking out; they also have negative effects on the insulation and don’t allow it to perform to its rated maximum. Draught proofing is classed as being so important that there is now a provision in the Building Regulations (Part L) for measuring the level of draught proofing or air tightness as it is commonly referred to. See Air Tightness FAQs.
This combination of high quality insulation and air tightness measures will produce a suitably low energy solution, but only if combined with a strategy for energy-efficient ventilation.
It is important that any fresh air entering the house enters in a totally controlled fashion and that exhaust air has had its heat taken from it first and goes out at low temperature. In other words, the heat is recovered from the exhaust air and then used to warm the fresh air going into the house.
In this way, fresh air from outside, no matter how cold it gets, will always enter your house at a comfortable 18 degrees or so. This formula of Insulation + air-tightness + Heat Recovery Ventilation = comfort + health + energy efficiency, forms the basis for the ultra-low-energy strategy used in building passive houses. The video below looks at MVHR systems in passive houses.
Clean Fresh Air Continuously
Filtered fresh air is circulated throughout your home day and night. On average most people spend over 80% of their time indoors. 50% of all illnesses are either caused by, or aggravated by poor indoor air quality. The ProAir Heat Recovery Ventilation System will continuously remove stale moist air from your home creating a more suitable and healthy place to live.
Energy Efficient Ventilation
A Heat Recovery Ventilation system will save you money and reduce your energy requirements for heating by re-using the heat that is normally lost via standard extract systems. A Heat Recovery Ventilation system is designed to operate continuously at a low rate to minimise electrical energy consumption. The heat recovered is up to twenty times the energy used to run the fans.
Water vapour will be removed as it is produced. As a result there is no moisture condensation which causes rot, damp, condensation or mould growth.
Comfort levels are superior in a house fitted with a Heat Recovery Ventilation system. Irrespective of weather conditions, draught free balanced ventilation is provided all the time.
Watch our video on the workings of Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation.
We have HRV in our block-built house. Installed by Proair of Galway. Very professional and thorough job, highly recommended. Cost was c. 8k, but we have two units due to the size of the house. Been in constant operation since October, no issues so far. Complexity? Turn it on and leave it. When you have a shower/bath press boost. That’s it.
We also got ours from ProAir and are very happy with it. We were strapped for extra cash, but our geo-therm. guys recommended the MHRV as a way of making the whole system more efficient. No condensation is a great thing. Your house will be healthier overall.