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Are Ventilation Systems Environmentally Friendly

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Are Ventilation Systems Environmentally Friendly

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Nov 01, 2023

Our individual impact on the environment may be small, but it contributes to overall effects like climate change, and taking steps to minimise our carbon emissions and use less energy in our day to day lives can help us do our part.

The choices you make when it comes to home ventilation will affect the energy consumption of your house, and if you make the right decisions, you could actually reduce your use of energy.

What is home ventilation?

Home ventilation systems exchange indoor air with outdoor air to reduce humidity, improve air quality and prevent issues like condensation and mould from developing. 

There are two main ways to ventilate your home:

Passive ventilation, which relies on the gaps in the fabric of your home such as windows, doors, and vents to circulate air around your property and refresh it.

Mechanical, or active ventilation which uses fans to either force stale air out of your home or draw fresh air in to replace the stale and humid air.

Mechanical ventilation includes the extractor fans you install in your bathroom and kitchen as well as whole house systems such as Positive Input Ventilation (PIV), and Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), which uses a heat exchange to transfer heat from the warm outgoing air to the cool incoming air and save energy.

All ventilation is intended to improve the air quality of your home, but many people wonder whether they are environmentally friendly, and whether they use a lot of energy both directly, and indirectly if they are affecting indoor temperatures.

How much energy does ventilation use directly?

Natural ventilation does not directly use any electricity – it relies on air pressure outside the home to draw air into the house and replace the stale air indoors.

Mechanical Ventilation systems do require electricity to run – although in recent years, improvements to their efficiency means that the actual running costs are very low.  The amount of electricity used by intermittent ventilation systems such as extractor fans depends on how often they are used, the size of the room they are ventilating, and the amount of humidity in the air.

Based on current electricity prices, the annual running costs for a popular extractor fan such as the EnviroVent Cyclone 7 is £9.38 in a typical bathroom, and £12.58 in a kitchen.  Other fans can be more efficient – based on the same level of usage, the ECO dMEV+ LC uses £5.36 and £10.41 respectively.

Whole house ventilation systems run continually.  As with extractor fans, the amount of energy they use will be dependent on the size of the home.  A Positive Input Ventilation System (PIV) such as the EnviroVent Atmos can run with or without a heater to warm incoming air.  At its lowest settings with the heater disabled, the annual running costs are £8.55, while in the same home, with the heater used, the annual running costs would be £58.22 – just over £1 per week.

Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery systems such as the EnergiSava 250 capture escaping heat through a heat exchanger to warm the incoming air.  The running costs are comparable with PIV systems and in a typical house, would be £59.05 per year.

Do ventilation systems help to save energy?

Whole house ventilation systems such as PIV and MVHR improve the airflow around the entire home.  This means that when you are running your heating system on cold days, the air heats more evenly.  As such, it can mean that you use less energy to get a comfortable temperature throughout your home, as there will be no areas that are over heated.

MVHR systems also recapture the warmth from air as it is extracted.  The heat exchangers that MVHR systems use are highly efficient, recovering more than 80% of warmth.  According to the UK government, MVHR systems could save between 300KWH and 1000KWH of heating energy each year, despite using between 100 and 800KWH over the same period.  This means that they can help the overall efficiency of your home and help you to reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Find out more

Ventilation systems can help stop condensation, damp, and mould from forming in your home as well as improving overall efficiency.  Contact us to book a FREE home survey where our local ventilation specialists will visit your home and identify the causes of condensation and damp and recommend the best solution for your needs.  Simply enter your postcode below to find an expert near you.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now