Boost Air Quality with MVHR
Boost Air Quality
By Richard Hughes, Residential Sales Manager, October 2014
Rising energy prices are having a major influence on the way we live in our homes and how new homes are being built. Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to minimise and manage their energy usage more effectively through the use of micro-renewables such as PIV, and energy improvements like loft insulation and triple glazing to windows. Energy-savvy homeowners are also using controls to programme their heating and other services to better suit their lifestyles; cutting down on wasted energy.
The drive towards building more energy-efficient homes is making the built fabric significantly more airtight as house builders strive to meet building regulations and provide buyers with the promise of low energy bills. However, building airtight properties or making energy-improvements without adequate ventilation can have a negative impact on indoor air quality, and that’s an issue that needs to be highlighted.
By sealing up our homes to keep valuable heat from escaping, we effectively seal in the moisture produced by everyday activities like washing, drying, bathing and simply breathing. The average family produces 4 litres of moisture per day, and if this moisture isn’t extracted the high levels of humidity encourage condensation which leads to mould growth and an increase in dust mites. Also trapped are the pollutants produced by cooking, cleaning and smoking, combined with the external pollutants that enter the home: traffic exhaust fumes, pollen and, in many parts of the UK, harmful Radon gas. The results are increased allergic and asthmatic symptoms, airborne respiratory infections and fatigue: in short, unhealthy homes.
So in the transition towards airtight building methods and energy improvements, adequate ventilation is now more necessary than ever. Choosing the correct ventilation strategy for your home will not only keep it free from condensation and mould, it will ensure your indoor air quality is at an optimum level: fresh and free from pollutants. As energy bills become more expensive how are our products helping to keep homeowner’s costs down?
Homeowners are much more aware of the benefits of insulating their homes and installing micro-renewables as ways of reducing energy bills. As a British manufacturer with over 40 years of experience, Nuaire has seen many ventilation strategies rise and fall in popularity, but a trend that we are certain will continue is the growth in use of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery, or MVHR.
All of our products are designed around lowering energy usage and none more so than our range of MVHR systems. This whole-home strategy provides year-round ventilation by extracting moisture and supplying fresh, filtered air, whilst recovering the heat that would otherwise be lost by less sophisticated methods of ventilation such as traditional intermittent extract fans.
Our MVHR systems offer some of the highest available thermal efficiencies, so a typical system will recover up to 95% of the heat being extracted offering homeowners significant energy savings combined with very low running costs. The ability to pre-heat the property when needed, and to utilise free summer cooling, gives homeowners the flexibility they now require to continue saving energy through the changing seasons. This kind of intelligent control is very appealing right now.
Aside from being among the most energy-efficient available, our MVHR range includes options for wall, loft and ceiling-void installation, in sizes that have been designed to ventilate all sizes and types of properties, so the MVHR system is only as powerful as is needed.
How do our systems help house-builders meet tightening green standards?
House builders and designers are under enormous pressure to ensure that their new builds meet building regulations and codes of practice whilst ensuring that the homeowner benefits from an energy-efficient design.
Nuaire’s low-energy MVHR range has been evaluated and specified within SAP Appendix, the procedure used by the Government to ensure new build homes are built in compliance with Part L of Building Regulations and to provide energy ratings. The range now includes MVHR systems with automatic summer bypass to comply with the latest guidance from the National House Building Council (NHBC). All this gives house builders assurance that by installing a Nuaire MVHR system, they can achieve a good energy score on SAP Q, which in turn will help them to meet building regulations. As an MVHR designer, we are passionate about best practice installation. We work with house builders early on in the design stage to design the MVHR system and ductwork using the latest 3D modelling software based on the house plans to guarantee the most efficient system and most practical design for the property type. Working with us at this early stage also means house builders can factor in the location of other services which might, at a later stage, affect the system performance and result in costly changes.
Installation engineers must be trained and registered to test and commission ventilation systems on new build homes. They are expected to provide ‘right-first-time’ installations so that commissioning is easy and occupants can be confident that their MVHR systems will perform efficiently. Three years ago we introduced BPEC ventilation installer training at our head offices, and made this free for our customers. The training continues to be hugely successful with installers travelling from all over the UK and Northern Ireland to attend the two-day course.
Would you like to know more about our range of energy-efficient MVHR systems and award-winning Ducting ancillaries? Or can we help you with your MVHR installation designs using our free drawing service?
Speak to a member of the Design team today: 02920 858500.