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HPM August 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com HEATRECOVERY Ensuring a healthy indoor environment Tunca Sekban, product manager of heat recovery at Airflow Developments, explores the latest ventilation products on the market and dispels some myths of old... Modern new-build properties are well insulated and draught sealed to comply with current Building Regulations, but unless homeowners have effective ventilation, the air they breathe inside their home may be up to ten times more polluted than the air by a busy road. Ensuring adequate ventilation for domestic properties is now more important than ever following further changes to the Building Regulations in October 2010. With Part L stipulating ingress rates that mean homes have to become even more airtight, it’s not surprising that interest in whole house ventilation systems has increased. Over the last few years we’ve seen the UK construction industry take a positive step towards increasing its focus on building airtight homes to save energy, using insulation to provide maximum warmth in winter and to keep properties cool during the summer months. Nevertheless, creating a sealed envelope opens up the issue of adequate ventilation. Whereas ventilation used to mean simply opening a window, it now signifies something far more complex like how to expel air, prevent damp and mould, and maintain a healthy indoor environment for the occupants. And when you consider that the average adult requires 15,000 litres of clean air everyday, and that the average household contains two or more people, you WWW.HPMMAG.COM start to get an idea of the importance supplying and extracting air really is. Particularly when you throw in everyday activities such as cooking and showering, which heightens the issue of moisture lingering in the air. Therefore, it’s vital that installers think carefully about the best way to remove this moisture and potentially wasted heat without compromising the fabric of the building. As an installer you will be aware that ventilation systems have been around for decades, but are you up to speed with their latest technological advancements? Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems, for example, are increasingly being used in new build housing projects; in fact the Passive House standard generally requires the installation of an MVHR unit to meet strict dwelling design airflow leakage rates levels typically under 1.5 m3/hr/m2. The system works by pulling warm, moist air from wet rooms like the kitchen, utility and bathroom, that would have been otherwise expelled into the environment and extracts the heat in an exchanger and uses it to warm fresh, filtered air being pulled in and distributed to the living areas and bedrooms. This ventilation and heating system also uses minimal energy by incorporating high efficiency electronically commutated DC motors. 50 AUGUST 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY Although MVHR systems have been around for a number of years, a huge amount of research and development by entrants such as Airflow has refined this renewable technology so products now offer over 90% heat recovery efficiency. These refinements cover both the unit and the ducting, as many installers previously reported issues of loss of airflow and noise, coming from poorly connected ductwork. Modern MVHR systems are also becoming progressively suited to retrofit scenarios in order to increase the overall efficiency of older, well-insulated buildings. Again, this is where ducting has an important role to play as semi-rigid ducting can now often be used in older properties such as Victorian terraces. In addition, modern ventilation systems have come a long way in terms of affordability in their initial cost, running costs and payback period. This shift has come from a number of factors; perhaps the most significant is the sheer range of unit’s now available covering small to large domestic properties. Thanks to continued investment in research and development, installers can now rest assured that MVHR systems are a credible solution to whole house ventilation, offering high levels of efficiency ensuring a healthy indoor environment for homeowners and safeguarding the fabric of the building. enquiry number 136 Airflex Pro Plus is a quick, easy to fit system of flexible pipe that can result in up to 70% time savings during the on-site installation process, compared to other duct methods


HPM August 2013
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