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You can’t see the air in your home, but it’s important to your health, your well-being and protecting your property.

Find out everything you need to know about Heat Recovery Ventilation

indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air

Indoor air can be 50 times more polluted than outdoor air!

Indoor air is full of pollutants from cleaning products and man-made furnishings (volatile oraganic compounds), tobacco smoke, dust, pollen and pollutants from outside from vehicles... as many as 900 can be found!
indoor air quality and our health go hand in hand

We breathe 10,000 litres of air everyday

We can't see air, but it's crucial to our lives - should we all be more concerned about the quality of the air? Do you or does anyone in your family suffer with asthma or other respirartory illnesses? If so, indoor air quality is crucial at home!
ventilation in our homes is crucial to our health and well-being as we spend 70% of our time indoors

We spend 90% of our time indoors

At home or work, the air we breathe and feel affects our health, concentration and overall well-being. It's not just about temperature- humidity plays a major part in our comfort factor! High levels of humidity can lead to 'stuffy' environments and potential issues with overheating
moisture from cooking creates high levels of humidity and can lead to condensation

24 pints of moisture created everyday in our homes!

Cooking, showering, boiling the kettle, hanging clothes to dry and even breathing creates moisture by the pint load, resulting in a risk of condensation & mould if not extracted effectively (24 pints - family of 4)

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So, What is Heat Recovery anyway?

Here is our explanation in 5 simple steps

1. It’s managing the air in your home

Heat Recovery is a whole house ventilation system.  A heat recovery unit is usually located in a utility cupboard (apartment) or loft space (home).  It is providing ventilation to your home by extracting humid air and indoor pollutants and supplying fresh filtered air.   The heat recovery unit is connected to each room via ducting that is concealed in the ceiling – all you see is an air valve in each room.

MVHR Heat Recovery Ventilation

Heat Recovery Ventilation Example : House

2. It’s on all of the time (and needs to be)

If your home has been fitted with a heat recovery ventilation system, it has been built to a high energy efficient standard that is designed to ‘keep the heat in’  This is great for you and your heating bills, but you need to breathe and so does the building.  Heat Recovery ventilation runs discreetly at low levels throughout the day and boosts when higher ventilation rates are required e.g. cooking, showering.  DON’t turn it off – it will cause poor indoor air quality and a stuffy environment!

3. It’s getting rid of moisture and ‘nasties’ in the air

50% of the heat recovery systems job is to extract air.
This is air that you want removed as it is filled with moisture, airborne particles such as dust, pollen and other pollutants such as Volatile Organic Compounds (from cleaning products, man-made furnishings).

Air is extracted via air valves in the ceiling in the ‘wet rooms’ – kitchens, bathrooms, wc’s.  You can’t see what’s floating in your air, but there can be as many as 900 pollutants at one time in your indoor air!

4. It’s recovering and re-using up to 95%* of the heat in the air

Ventilation systems are often turned off because they are misunderstood, people think they cost a lot to run and all of their heat is being sucked out of the house. This is not the case!

  • When the heat recovery unit extracts air from the property it recovers and stores 95% of the heat that is contained within it
  • When air is brought in from outside, it passes through the heat exchanger, picking up the heat that has been stored
  • This results in warmed supply air, meaning in the winter your heating demand will be lower – saving you money!
  • Don’t worry this automatically stops in the summer!

*different rates for different models

5.  It’s providing fresh filtered air to your home

The other 50% of the heat recovery systems job is to provide supply air to the home (to replace/balance what has been extracted).  This air is passed through filters located in the heat recovery unit.  The filters remove airborne particles such as dust before it is delivered to your living rooms and bedrooms, keeping the air in your home fresh and healthy!

Filters inside the heat recovery systems get clogged over time.  They should be checked every 6 months and either washed or replaced ( this really depends on your location and the level of external pollution).  Clogged filters, just like your hoover filter impacts the system performance.  If they are not replaced, this will affect your indoor air quality which is not ideal if you suffer with asthma, hayfever or other allergies.

How much does a Heat Recovery system cost to run per year?

Heat Recovery units are designed to be energy efficient, not only in recovering and reusing heat from within your home, but also in the cost of running throughout the year.  This means they won’t cost a lot to run and will help reduce your heating bill in the winter months.

Heat recovery units come in a range of sizes to deliver a range of airflow rates for different size properties.  They are manufactured using low energy motors that result in low running costs per year.

Typical running costs for a Heat Recovery System
2 bedroom apartment = £25 – 30.00 pa
4 bedroom house = £40 – 45.00 pa

Heat Recovery v Household Appliances

Comparison based on: W/Machine: 2 hours per day. F/Freezer: 365 days. HRV System: 22 hours trickle/2 hours boost

Heat Recovery Filters

There are two filters inside your heat recovery system, one for supply air and one for extract air.  These filters are helping remove pollutants, dust, debris and  particles from the air entering your home and protecting the unit from dust and particles in the air being removed from your home.  They do a crucial job and need replacing/checking every 6 months.

Have you checked your filters?

0Days
Recommended number of days to check/replace filters
Heat recovery filter
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Days installed in Heat Recovery System

This is the SUPPLY air filter from a 2 bedroom apartment in north London.  The apartment is located close to busy roads and is in an Air Quality Management Area. Just 18 days over the recommended filter checking time, you can see it is thick with black muck.  This clogged filter will start to impact the performance of the system and air quality will be affected.

heat recovery filter dirty
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Days installed in Heat Recovery System

Here are the supply and extract filters from a one bedroom apartment based in south London. The clogged filters impacted the performance of the system by almost 12% resulting in a higher risk of condensation and mould and poor indoor air quality.

How do you control your Heat Recovery System?

The heat recovery system in your home is working continuously to provide fresh filtered air and extract moisture and pollutants.  It works automatically at a low level throughout the day and has a boost facility for when higher levels of ventilation are required e.g. cooking, showering. The boost facility works in different ways and will have been set up during installation – see on the right for the various options:

Boost speed will be activated when you turn on the bathroom light.  When the light is turned off, the boost will continue to run for a pre-set period to ensure the room is clear of moisture/high humidity levels.

The system has a humidity sensor which is constantly monitoring humidity levels in the kitchen or bathroom.  When the humidity level rises, it will activate the boost speed.  This will continue until humidity levels have returned to normal levels e.g 65-70%.  This type of boost function is energy efficient, working only when higher ventilation rates are needed e.g. cooking/showering