How HRV can improve your health and indoor air quality?
If you are after a healthy and energy efficient home, there is no way around the passive house standard.
And one of the criteria of the passive house standard is the Heat Recovery Ventilation System. In short: HRV.
Don’t worry, you can still open your windows! But you don’t have to anymore.
So why is an HRV so important?
The HRV will not only control your indoor temperature and cut down your heating bills, it also gets rid of all the humidity build up inside your house. But most importantly, it will also provide you with beautiful healthy indoor air, no pollen, no dust mites and no mould.
Perfect for the whole family, especially for anyone struggling with allergies or asthma.
The integration of a mechanical ventilation unit means that you simply don’t need to rely on opening the windows anymore in order to achieve good indoor air quality. The unit effectively recovers heat and coolth that would otherwise be wasted whilst also filtering the air that’s coming into the building.
When it comes to designing the HRV system, each habitable room (bedrooms, living areas, multi-purpose room) will require an outlet for fresh air, and all wet areas (bathroom, ensuite, laundry, kitchen will require an extraction point).
The ducts used for this system typically need around 120mm – 140mm clearance.
We recommend getting your system designed and detailed by the HRV provider.
They will specify the location of outlets in order and calibrate the airflow to distribute air evenly. Making sure there are no ‘dead spots’ in the house where air is stagnant.
Once the HRV supplier has completed their design (outlet number and locations, how many supply units are required) it needs to be modelled into your drawings. You have to nominate a space to run all the ducts. Or come up with a nice way of hiding them. You do not want to end up with ugly bulkheads running through the middle of your living room. So best not leave it up to chance.
In general, a bathroom or kitchen has a single extraction point that looks similar to a typical ducted heating system duct, whereas larger habitable areas might need two or three outlets.
The kitchen and bathrooms also typically have a boost switch. That can be turned on for access humidity.
When it comes to planning your kitchen there are a few things you have to take into account. You will need a recirculating rangehood and you will not be able to use a gas cooktop.
The HRV is quite different to a ducted system. The airflow is much slower. You won’t hear a thing and you won’t feel the moving air either.
In fact, it is proven that when you run an HRV in your house there will be less dust. So, less time wasted dusting and cleaning your house.
And, a funny little side effect. Your clothes will dry faster. As the HRV will take the humidity out of the air.
Even if you are not thinking about a passive house or if you just want to make your existing house more energy efficient and healthy. I would strongly recommend exploring the idea of installing an HRV into your home.
It will be one of the best investments to your families health that you will ever make.
And remember, you can still open the windows.