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If you are building a new home, a heat recovery system can offer substantial savings on heating bills over normal ventilation methods.

It provides constant fresh filtered air into a building while retaining almost all of the energy that has already been used in heating the building. As well as improving the quality of air in the home, an MVHR system can recover up to 90% of normal heat loss through air changes which can reduce heating requirements by up to 25%, offering on-going cost saving benefits.

This does mainly apply to new build homes where air tightness is a factor, such as a passivhaus design or NZEB. In older properties, it tends to be harder to run the ductwork required for the system throughout the building, unless there is a ‘back to building fabric’ approach.

MVHR allows modern houses that are well insulated to have a constant supply of fresh air, tempered with the heat from extracted air within the house. Heat recovery takes place when warm air is passed through a heat exchanger in the air handling unit and the heat extracted is then used to warm the incoming fresh air. The ideal means of keeping heat in a building is to seal it and maximise insulation, however, without proper ventilation this would lead to trapping smells, mould, condensation and even lead to respiratory problems. The traditional means to combat this is with wasteful trickle vents in windows and doors, air bricks and extract ventilation in bathrooms, all of which provide no opportunity to recover the precious heat energy that has been used to create heat. As a technology, MVHR can solve these problems. 

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A ventilation system is normally installed out of the way in places such as attics, void spaces or plant rooms, ductwork is then fed to each individual room to extract out stale air in rooms such at kitchens, bathrooms, and utilities, with the heat recovered from that air, supply of warm fresh air is then injected into living spaces. This is all carried out at such low, energy efficient velocities that you will not even notice it is happening.

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