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Technical specifications for residential installation

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Technical specifications for residential installation

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Oct 30, 2022

An Environmental advantage , improved energy-efficiency, fuel savings, and a range of health benefits… installing a residential ventilation system really is an obvious choice. Having identified the importance of effective ventilation as a means of providing tangible added value to your client, you are probably wondering what to expect in terms of installation requirements. In this article, we discuss the finer details of the installation of a home ventilation system, while highlighting some of the pitfalls to be avoided.

Choosing the correct system to suit your needs

Installation requirements for your residential ventilation system will vary greatly depending on which system you have elected to install. Maybe you are undertaking a new build construction and require a ‘whole house’ solution that will greatly improve overall ventilation within the building, simultaneously reducing running costs, improving comfort, and offering a range of health benefits for prospective buyers. The table below highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of each of the available systems.

Type of system

Type of installation



Extractor fans

Targeted – primarily in bathrooms & kitchens

- Inexpensive

- No  major renovation/construction work required

- Installed in specific rooms, meaning the benefits are not as apparent throughout the entire building.

- Heat loss

PIV (Positive Input Ventilation)

Whole house

- Can be retrofitted without significant renovation

- Improves air quality throughout the house

- Not as effective or efficient as other mechanical systems

MEV (Mechanical Extract Ventilation)

Whole house

- Improves air quality throughout the house

- “Fit & forget” – limited maintenance/management


- Only suitable in case of major renovations or in new builds

- Does not offset heating costs in the same way as an MVHR system

MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery)

Whole house

- Improves air quality throughout the house

- Can be configured and adjusted to suit conditions in and around the property, number of occupants etc.

- Provides a supply of filtered, warmed air back into the property, thus offsetting heating costs

- Creation of an air-tight home reduces the ingress of pollution and external noise

- Only suitable in case of major renovations or in new builds

- Requires significant installation planning and expertise

- Higher installation cost



The benefits of professional consultation & installation

The first reason to choose professional consultation and installation is to ensure compliance with the numerous regulations that must be adhered to when installing a residential ventilation system. It is reassuring to know that the experts at EnviroVent have your back. They regularly monitor changes in legislation and government-issued guidance, and are on hand to provide advice and help you tailor the ventilation system for your project, meaning you won’t have to worry about ensuring compliance with regulations such as:

  • IEE regulations concerning electrical wiring, in particular regarding the wiring of electrical installations in wet environments such as bathrooms and showers.
  • Building Regulations and Approved Document F, providing guidance on building ventilation, air quality, and the prevention of condensation.

Secondly, planning the installation of a residential ventilation system involves a number of decisions that can have a major impact on the effectiveness, efficiency, and overall success of your installation. These include the routing of the ventilation ducts, e.g. to avoid impairing fire resistance or structural stability, the positioning of valves and vents, the identification of areas requiring insulation, determining the location of your mechanical ventilation/heat recovery unit, and the elimination/reduction of noise. Once again, there is no need to make these decisions on your own. The team of professionals at EnviroVent will be more than happy to assist you with project design, or provide advice on which ventilation system will be best suited for your new build or refurbishment. 

Pitfalls to be avoided

A professional consultation and installation by EnviroVent can prevent the following drawbacks and ensure that your installation is efficient and cost-effective…

  1. Vent positioning – installing vents too close to doors can result in fed-in air exiting the room, with no effect on the room in which the vent is installed. External intake and exhaust vents must be properly positioned and suitably spaced out. The installation of insect filters on external vents should be avoided, with the task of removing insects and pollutants best left to the ventilation unit itself.
  2. Condensation – ducts passing through unheated spaces, such as roof voids, will require appropriate insulation to avoid the formation of condensation.
  3. Noise – an expert installer will consider numerous factors that could otherwise result in a mechanical ventilation system producing excessive noise. These factors include the installation of an ventilation unit that is not the correct size for building, poorly designed/routed ductwork, and failure to install noise attenuators where necessary. Ductwork should be rigid or semi-rigid, with the use of flexible ducting for noise reduction purposes to be kept to a minimum.
  4. Draughts – residential ventilation systems must be dimensioned and designed so as to avoid the generation of uncomfortable draughts in inhabited areas. The positioning of vents again plays a key role in this regard.

Air Velocity Specifications

Numerous research findings place the acceptable (and comfortable) air velocity within a residential space at anywhere between 0.5 and 2.5 m/s, with higher air speeds favoured by occupants in hotter and more humid climates. As a general rule, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers suggests a maximum velocity of 0.8 m/s.

Place your installation in the hands of the experts

There is certainly more to a residential ventilation system than meets the eye. That said, the benefits of an effectively ventilated residential property far outweigh any drawbacks in terms of effort, planning and installation cost. For your client to enjoy these benefits, it is essential that you select the most appropriate and cost-effective system for the project, while also ensuring compliance with current legislation. The expert sales staff and consultants at EnviroVent can take care of all this for you, leaving you to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that the installation is in expert hands.