Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems
What is a Heat Recovery System?
A heat recovery system is a type of home ventilation system that utilises warmth you would otherwise lose through convection and uses it to heat fresh air drawn from the outside.
Heat recovery systems are sometimes known as mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems. Some people prefer this name because the systems use motors and fans to create artificial ventilation. Other common forms of home ventilation often rely purely upon physical effects to move air around.
The use of an air-to-air heat exchanger means that heat recovery systems can transfer the temperature of a warm stream of air to a cold stream without them ever physically touching.
How do they work?
The main component of a heat recovery system is the unit, usually situated in the attic or roof space. This unit is responsible for both extracting air from within the home and pulling in fresh air from the outside. A specialized component known as a heat exchanger enables the system to transfer the heat from the warm air stream to the cold one as they flow past each other.
Because the two streams of air are kept entirely separate, there is no chance of cross-contamination occurring. In fact, the two streams of air are kept separate throughout your home, thanks to the use of different piping and ductwork for each.
The fresh air drawn from the outside passes through a filter, which catches any large particles such as pollen and other pollutants and allergens. This filtering makes heat recovery systems an effective way of improving air quality in your home.
Heat recovery systems utilise heat that is already in your home. There is no need for the system itself to generate any additional heat.
What are the Benefits?
There are several critical benefits to heat recovery systems. Below are four of the most important.
Utility bills can be a major source of frustration; anything we can do to reduce them is worth pursuing. A heat recovery system enables you to reduce your heating bill by allowing you to use the heat you generate more efficiently.
These systems capture heat that you would otherwise lose and let you use at least some of it to warm your home.
However, remember that heat recovery systems do not generate heat on their own. You will need to use them in conjunction with another form of heating system to get the most out of them.
Most of us never give a second thought to what the air quality in our homes is like. However, if you live near to a city, there is a very good chance that the air in your home is full of pollutants.
Similarly, many of us keep most or all of our windows closed for at least some of the year. With all the doors and windows to our homes closed, there is relatively little transfer of stale internal air to the outside, and intake of fresh air.
Because a heat recovery system is continually pumping out old stale air and bringing in fresh cool air, there is no chance for the accumulation of moisture or other allergens and pollutants in the air. If you live in or near a city, opening your window will enable contaminants to seep in.
A heat recovery system will enable you to improve the quality of the air in your home without having to expose yourself to outside contaminants.
Whether it’s pets, smokers, or just people cooking food in your kitchen, it doesn’t take much for odours to fill up most homes.
Because a heat recovery system is constantly drawing out stale internal air, it will also rapidly pull any smells and odours out the air and out your home.
When a heat recovery system pulls in cool air from the outside, it passes it through a filter. This filter is designed to remove the majority of contaminants that are likely to be present in the air sample.
Coupled with the use of separate piping for hot and cold streams of air, heat recovery systems can avoid the potential for cross-contamination.
An ingenious air to air heat transfer unit enables heat to move seamlessly from the warm air to the cold air without ever having to come into physical contact with one another.
Can I Retrofit a Heat Recovery System?
In short, yes. However, suppose your home is draughty and lacks insulation, a heat recovery system will be ineffective. In that case, you might need to address this issue before you can add a heat recovery system to your home.
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