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Impact of MVHR on energy efficiency: Energy crisis demands solutions

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Positive impact of MVHR on energy efficiency: The energy crisis demands innovative solutions

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Oct 30, 2022

Rising energy costs are a permanent fixture in our headlines, with energy efficiency at the top of everyone’s agenda. In this article we look at MVHR, or mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, as an efficient solution by which to reduce overall emissions and deliver tangible cost reductions, highlighting the system’s key benefits both to planners and developers, and to end users.

Placing control in the hands of the occupant: conserving energy with MVHR

With government building legislation increasingly raising the bar regarding efficiency and ventilation standards, and with reducing costs of increasing concern for end consumers, the pressure on the construction industry to find sustainable and affordable solutions is significant. This is where the experts at EnviroVent can help…

The first step in increasing efficiency is the reduction of waste. In most modern homes, this quest for efficiency and reduced waste has resulted in a concerted effort to increase air tightness. While window trickle vents and bathroom extractor fans tick a number of boxes in terms of maintaining air quality and humidity levels within a building, the resulting heat losses are significant.

According to the International Energy Agency, “approximately 30% of the energy delivered to buildings is dissipated in the departing ventilation and exfiltration air streams”.

MVHR offers a viable and increasingly affordable alternative by which to remove stale and humid air from a house while recovering the vast majority of this lost energy, before feeding a supply of fresh, warm, filtered air back into the home. This not only circumvents the energy losses associated with traditional passive ventilation methods, but also places control in the hands of the user, with the ability to tailor the ventilation in a home based on the number of occupants, humidity levels, and prevalent air pollutants.

What are the benefits of heat recovery?

Rather than merely extracting air from the home and replacing it with a supply of cold fresh air from outside the building, an MVHR system avoids the majority of the loss of the heat energy in the existing air by means of a heat exchanger within the ventilation unit. This offers multiple benefits:

- Firstly, the system offers significant cost-savings, with heat from extracted air recovered and transferred to the fresh air being fed back into the home. This partially warmed air noticeably enhances comfort and effectively offsets heating costs.

- Secondly, the warm air fed into the home is filtered to remove external pollutants. This provides a host of health benefits to sufferers of asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis, COPD, and allergies including hay fever. Regulating humidity reduces the formation of mould, helps prevent condensation and associated damp problems, and combats dust mite infestation – all common irritants affecting the estimated 12.7 million UK residents (approximately 1 in 5) who suffer from respiratory conditions. This being a ‘whole house’ solution, occupants will reap the benefit of improved air quality throughout the entire property, without focussing solely on high-humidity rooms such as bathrooms, which are often only occupied for a limited time each day.

- Finally, the replacement of trickle vents and the opening of windows to air out a room significantly reduces noise pollution from traffic and other sources outside the home. Meanwhile, the MVHR system itself runs almost silently in the background.

Still require further incentives?

The government’s environmental strategy, aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, has seen the recent introduction of new legislation, alongside amendments to existing policies, most noticeably Part F of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations, which governs ventilation and air quality requirements in new constructions and building renovations. In a domestic dwelling, ventilation must be circulated continuously, with mechanical ventilation required in areas of increased humidity or pollution. New requirements also require the installation of continuous mechanical ventilation in exceptionally airtight buildings. Installing an MVHR system from EnviroVent represents an opportunity to get ahead of the curve, ensure compliance, and contribute to the fight against climate change.

Benefits of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery at a glance 

  • System can be tailored to each specific home, for maximum efficiency
  • Potential fuel cost reductions of up to 30% through the recovery of heat that would otherwise be lost
  • Improved air quality offers health benefits to sufferers of allergies, including hay fever, as well as asthma and other respiratory conditions
  • Energy savings and reduced emissions make a tangible contribution to environmental protection - a genuine selling point for house buyers

So, whether you are a house builder, developer or M&E consultant eager to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and seeking to appeal to the budget-conscious and environmentally aware house buyer, an MVHR system from EnviroVent could be the ideal solution. Our expert consultants are on hand to assist and tailor your heat recovery system to suit your project needs and comply with latest building regulations.