You may have seen adverts from suppliers of home heat recovery ventilation systems but have not been entirely sure what they do and how you can benefit from having one installed. We bring all the pertinent information together here for your convenience. The reasons these systems are necessary for many homes, how they work, the advantages, and the costs are all discussed.
The Reasons Why Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems Are So Important In Ireland
Much research has been done on air quality in homes and how this impacts health and healthcare costs. Studies use the measure of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) to express the results. In Europe, there are 2.2 million DALY lost annually. Poor air quality costs Irish healthcare €500 million over the same period.
Respiratory disease in Ireland accounts for 33% of hospital admissions that are life-threatening. Exposure to radon leads to death from cancer in 10% of patients. Ireland is in the top four countries for incidences of COPD and asthma.
Insufficient ventilation is responsible for problems with mould. This occurs more frequently in homes that do not have any airflow, like bungalows.
New building regulations state that these homes are required to qualify as near-zero energy buildings (NZEB). Similar conditions apply to homes undergoing significant renovation.
The Mechanism By Which Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems Work
A heat recovery ventilation system extracts heat in cold weather from rooms in the home that have high moisture content, such as the kitchen and bathroom. It retains 95% of the heat but draws in fresh air, which is then distributed to the rest of the house. In warm weather, the heat is dissipated so that rooms receive fresh, cool air. The system is designed to automatically adjust to the seasons.
The system is usually installed in the attic or laundry areas. It prevents the build-up of odours and mould from growing. Filters keep dust mites and pollen from getting inside.
The Advantages Of A Heat Recovery Ventilation System
A heat recovery ventilation system, such as Irish ventilators, reduces the loss of energy from gaps such as vents and windows by 95%. This leads to a huge saving of up to one-fifth of your energy account. It also decreases the load your heating system carries.
The indoor climate is controlled for comfort. Fresh, clean air is circulated throughout the home. The system does not produce a draft.
When it comes to health benefits, the system reduces the effects of allergens and eliminates radon. It prevents mildew and mould. Fewer spiders are found inside the home due to dust being kept out; many arachnids eat dust mites.
Costs And Savings Of Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems
The system itself costs from €4500 to €5500 for an average-sized house (approximately 200 square metres). There are several factors apart from the size that determine the final price. The units can be installed by the homeowner quite simply, but if you want the supplier to do the installation, this would be an additional cost. A larger home would have more supply and extraction points. This will also increase how much ducting is used. Prices also vary for different models.
With energy costs being reduced by 15% to 20%, and heat recovery ventilation systems costing an average of 10p per day, it is estimated that you could recoup the outlay for the system within five years. Maintenance costs are in the region of €100 to replace the filters once a year. Full cleaning is required after three or four years.
The system basically pays for itself.