Is Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery the Future of Green Homes?

Improving Ventilation in Your Home Whilst Reducing Energy Bills

Does the air seem stale in your airtight new build property? Invest in an eco-friendly MVHR system to save money and the environment.

Modern building design has eliminated many traditional problems with cold houses. No longer does cold air seep in through unsealed window frames or poor insulation which causes draughts. As a result, new build homes can save home owners roughly £629 a year in energy bills, according to the Home Builders Federation, as residents no longer feel the need to crank up the thermostat when the colder months arrive. But the issue with living in an airtight property is that there is still a need for adequate ventilation. A sustainable solution is to invest in a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system (MVHR) for your property.

Why Is Ventilation So Important?

Stagnant air doesn’t just feel stale, it can cause damage to both your property and your health. When the air in your home doesn’t move around enough, it can settle on cold surfaces such as walls or behind your furniture; the moisture within this stagnant air will settle and form condensation, which eventually turns to damp and mould. As well as threatening the structural integrity of your property, damp and mould can cause or exacerbate various respiratory and allergic conditions such as asthma or eczema.

How Can MVHR Help?

A mechanical ventilation with heat recovery unit provides fresh air to your home constantly throughout the year, whatever the season. The system works with a central unit that provides fresh air to each room in your home via a ducting network. Of course, the issue with ‘fresh’ air is from about October through to March, many homeowners want to avoid any chill that comes with such a promise. And that’s where the heat recovery feature comes in. During the winter, the heat exchanger in the MVHR unit adjusts the temperature of the air entering the home to ensure that it is comfortable at all times. This dramatically reduces the need for homeowners to turn on their central heating, which of course makes MVHR an extremely energy-efficient option.

But what about the summer? When the weather heats up from Spring onwards, the system gauges the temperature of the home and allows fresh air to flow in and cool your home down, which can often be a welcome relief in the height of summer.

How Sustainable Is MVHR?

Although mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems will vary in their effectiveness, some models are able to recover up to 95% of heat that would ordinarily have been lost through the typical ventilation process. Along with other eco-friendly innovations such as biomass boilers which are a green and cost-effective way to heat the home, MVHR systems could save the average homeowner an additional £200 per year in unnecessary winter heating. This is a huge move towards a greener, zero carbon future and an important factor in the Code for Sustainable Homes criteria which was established in 2006 as a way of assessing the sustainability of building design.

If you’re interested in installing an MVHR unit in your home, then this might set you back between £1,500 to £3,000 depending on the size of your property. However, the ongoing benefits to your annual energy bills along with the advantages to the environment make this innovation well worth investing in.

Author: Editor

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