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Understanding Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems: Is It Worth Installing in Your Home?

Are you tired of feeling stuffy and uncomfortable inside your home, especially during extreme weather? Are you tired of dealing with respiratory problems or allergies that originated from your very own living space? The solution to these common problems is proper ventilation inside your home. One proven solution is installing a Heat Recovery Ventilation System or HRV. In this blog, we will discuss what an HRV system is, what it does, and its benefits to your home’s performance and overall health.

What is a HRV System?

A Heat Recovery Ventilation System or HRV is a mechanical ventilation system that is designed to improve the indoor air quality of your home. The system continually draws air from the external side, filters it, and sends it around the home to desired locations. Whilst doing this it is also recovering the heat from the extracted stale air, without mixing the two air streams. This process not only helps to improve indoor air quality but also helps to conserve energy and reduce heating costs.

What Does an HRV System Do?

The primary function of an HRV system is to provide fresh, clean air circulation throughout your home while maintaining optimal ventilation and temperature.  

The system uses 2 main ducts linked to the outside, one draws in air and one is extracting the stale air and these 2 ducts are linked to the main HRV system inside the home. From this point a further 2 ducts of same size are linked to a distribution box which in turn, via a series of smaller ducts, circulate the fresh filtered air into bedrooms and living spaces and extract the stale air from bathrooms, laundries and kitchens. As the intake and extract air moves through the main HRV unit, it is retaining the heat from the extract air and is repurposed in the home with the new fresh intake air. The HRV system operates its intake and extract system simultaneously and runs 24 hours a day to supply the building with fresh filtered air at a regulated temperature.  Heat Recovery Ventilation is one of the 5 Passive House principles and is a must for any airtight building or home.

The Benefits of Having an HRV System

First and foremost, they promote healthy living. The HRV system can help to reduce the levels of indoor pollutants and toxins such as dust, smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon dioxide. This can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the home’s occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory conditions.

Secondly, HRV systems increase energy efficiency. By using the heat from the stale air to warm incoming fresh air in winter and extract summer heat in hot months, you save on energy use and energy bills. These systems use very little energy despite running constantly due to the fact that they are moving very small volumes of air and they are never producing noticeable draughts or cold/hot spots.

Thirdly, It is also important to note that an HRV system can help to prevent moisture-related problems such as condensation, which we all know can lead to mould and mildew, a huge issue for older and current homes being built in Australia. By continuously exhausting stale indoor air and high humidity and introducing fresh, dry outdoor air, an HRV system can help to reduce the moisture levels and maintain a comfortable humidity level. Another factor in providing a healthy living environment for occupants.

Lastly, HRV systems can prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system. As the HRV system circulates fresh air at regulated temperatures your HVAC system may not have to work as hard due to the fact that it does not need to be used as much, enabling your system to last longer. In a Passive House for instance, the HVAC system will only ever need to be used for a short period in those extreme days of prolonged heat to assist the HRV system in maintaining that desired indoor temperature.

Should you install an HRV System? Absolutely! If you’re looking to improve the overall performance of your home, improve any health issues and save energy, this system is well worth considering. Despite HRV systems being slightly more expensive than traditional HVAC systems to install,  it’s a one-time expense that provides long-term multiple benefits regarding energy savings, reductions in health risks, and overall comfort.

Having a comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient home is every homeowner’s dream. Installing an HRV system is one of the most efficient and effective ways to achieve that dream.. Do your family a favour, and invest in an HRV system today that will pay off in the long run.

Passive House References





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