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Friday, 3 January 2014
What is Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR)?
Due to Government legislation and building requirements, new
homes are required to be built with very low leakage rates to make them more
energy efficient. However, an air tight property can result in poor indoor air
quality because condensation and pollutants from cooking, cleaning and bathing
will remain trapped inside the building. This is where Mechanical Ventilation
with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems comes in. MVHR systems provide the entire
home with all-year-round ventilation; they remove condensation and pollutants
from inside the property, therefore, improving the indoor air quality, whilst
recovering the heat that would otherwise be lost outside. These systems are
great at reducing dust and allergen levels within the home.
How does MVHR work?
MVHR is fast becoming the most
common method of ventilation for the whole house for new build properties
because it is a proven low-energy, highly efficient ventilation method. The
MVHR system works by combining the air supply with the air extract in one unit.
Stale air with high moisture content is extracted from ‘wet’ areas such as
kitchens and bathrooms and passed through the MVHR system to produce filtered
air, which is then delivered into the living areas of the property. As the old
extracted air passes through the system the heat from the stale air is
recovered via a heat exchanger which is then used to temper the fresh, filtered
Benefits of MVHR
-MVHR systems can be designed to suit every size
and type of property from small apartments to homes with up to seven wet rooms
which enable you to save money and space.
-The systems have very low noise levels which is
an essential feature because the MVHR systems are continuously running to provide
ventilation for your home.
-MVHR systems can save you money in the long term
because they require very low running costs therefore giving you significant
-They are lightweight, compact and very easy to
-MVHR systems dramatically reduce the allergen
and dust levels within your low leakage, energy efficient home providing your
property with fresh, filtered air.
-The heat recovery from the air enables a steady
heat delivery and reduces the amount of heat lost.
-The heat delivered through this ventilation
system removes the need for radiators as the filtered air is tempered from the
heat recovered from the original stale air.
-Installing an MVHR system will help you to
achieve a high score in SAP Q, and to comply with Building Regulations Part F
-Can’t use in properties that use open fires, the
room must have a sealed stove.
-The initial cost of the installation compare to
some alternatives is relatively expensive, however, it is cost neutral after 4
-The efficiency of the system relies heavily on
the air tightness of the building. This is why new low-leakage, high energy
efficiency builds are the best properties for MVHR system installation.
-Filter replacements are required every 9 -12
Article written by Optiheat Renewables – Devon based
experts in the design, installation and maintenance of MVHR and other renewable
heating systems to homes in Devon and Cornwall