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Heat Recovery Ventilation: How It Works

     Copyright (c) 2015 Matt Reardon

In the market today, there are several partial solutions to the problem of your indoor air-quality. For instance, when you install an electrostatic filter in a forced-air heating system, it will cut down your airborne contaminants, except that it won’t aid you with eradicating gaseous pollutants, moisture and the stale air in your home.

Local exhaust fans may assist in removing excess moisture from your bath, kitchen and laundry area, but it will generate negative pressure within house. As the exhaust fans pump air out, the vacuum that is created will slowly draw in air into your house through structure gaps and vents, bringing along dust, contaminants and bad odors. In locations where radon is an issue, the generated negative pressure could increase the levels of radon in your house.

A better solution is creating a balanced heat recovery ventilation system for your entire home. With this system, one fan will be blowing out the polluted stale air from your house whilst another is replacing it with a fresh supply.

Holding the Heat

Similar to a balanced home ventilation system, a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) warms up the incoming fresh air using the heat contained in your outgoing stale air. A classic unit has two fans–one taking out used household air while the other brings in fresh air to replace the outgoing bad air.

Heat-Exchange Core

This is the aspect which makes your HRV unique. The heat exchange core is responsible for transferring heat from your outgoing air stream to your incoming air stream similar to the manner in which a car radiator will transfer heat from the coolant of the engine’s to the external air.

It’s made up of a series of alternating narrow passages via which outgoing and incoming airstreams run. As the two streams are moving through, heat is transferred from the warmer air side of each passage onto the colder, whilst the two air airstreams will never mix.

Energy Efficient Consumption

Depending on your model, heat recovery ventilators could recover close to 85% of the heat contained in the outgoing stream, making them a lot more comfortable for your energy budget. Your HRV has filters which keep particulates like dust and pollen from getting into your house. You could however, discover that your energy bill has slightly gone up for replacing some of the heat which isn’t recovered.

Energy and Buildings Journal Vo. 43 Issue 7, July 2011 published a study which concluded that though, VHR systems could give you considerable energy cost reduction, the benefit will strongly depend on the kind of heat supply system you got, plus on the quantity of electricity utilized for VHR and on your home’s air tightness. The same study showed the implication of considering the linkages between VHR systems and your heat supply systems to decrease primary energy usage in homes and buildings.

Another study on the REHVA European HVAC Journal indicated that in passive and low energy homes, at least 50 per cent of the thermal heat is generated through ventilation. Therefore, requirements for thermal heat could only be notably reduced by utilizing heat recovery in your ventilation systems. The REHVA Journal is a practical and technical journal primarily for the professionals in the HVAC industry.

Article Source:

MouldBuster has been installing HRVs in Australia for several decades. Matt Reardon will be ready to offer you all the support you need for your home ventilation. Clients are always happy with services received at MouldBuster. To know more about their services browse

Posted on 2015-01-18, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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