When might you need a heat Recovery ventilation system?
Have you ever lived in a home where when the wind was blowing outside you could feel it inside? A number of homes that have been built in the past (and are still being built) have plenty of gaps and cracks that let a home breath internally naturally but also create a way for heat to escape or heat to enter the home. As energy costs have increased and the cost to heat and cool homes has started to hit the pocket more the need to create homes that are built tighter and don’t leak energy out of gaps and cracks has created a new problem. The homes that are built and sealed better have a potential for moisture and pollutants that are generated in the home during normal activities like showering, bathing or cooking to become trapped inside as they cannot escape. Excessive levels moisture that are trapped in the home can promote the growth of mould, mildew and bacteria.
In Commercial applications they can be installed where high amounts of fresh air are required to reduce the loss of heat that is normally experienced in traditional ventilation systems therefore reducing the energy required to run and air conditioning system. Other applications include pool halls, sports centres, data centres, medical centres and many more.
What is a heat recovery ventilation system?
In simple terms a heat recovery ventilation system does what the name says, It recovers heat while ventilating. It does this by removing stale air from your home or building and expels is to the outside air. At the same time as the stale air is being expelled from the home or building the unit is drawing in fresh air from outside in a seperate duct. The genius of the system is what happens during this process in the Heat Recovery Ventilation unit.
The heat recovery ventilation unit contains a heat exchanger that is placed between the outgoing and incoming air. As the outgoing air passes across the heat exchange the heat is removed and transferred to the incoming air on the other side. This process not only helps to remove the waste heat but also to prevent the mixing of the stale and fresh air.
How big are they?
The size of the unit is dictated by the size of the space that is required to be ventilated and is base on the required amount of air changes. The required rate of air changes are different for different applications. In a residential home the units are generally designed to fit into a cupboard, bulkhead or a roof space. In a commercial setting the unit may be much larger and be ground or roof mounted. (as pictured below)
Servicing and maintance
Generally Heat Recovery Ventilation units need little maintenance and will only include the cleaning of the cross-countercurrent heat exchanger, any inline air filters, ducts and the fans. Most manufactures have a set or recommended servicing time based on the running time or the unit.