One of the most important and overlooked considerations in building a comfortable and healthy home is a smart ventilation system. Ensuring your home has sufficient ventilation means that not only will your home have a constant supply of fresh air, but you will be preventing damage caused by moisture and mould.
By international standards Australian homes are poorly sealed and poorly ventilated. Buildings only allow for fresh air to be introduced by opening windows and doors, although a tried and tested method, this involves allowing in either extremely hot or cold air. Air that requires energy (money) to be heated or cooled to the desirable temperature. As the necessity for sustainable and energy efficient building grows, building a home that is well-insulated, sealed and includes a Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRV) is increasingly becoming the standard.
HRV systems distribute fresh, clean filtered air to the living areas of your home whilst removing moist and polluted air from wet areas such as the bathroom or laundry, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature year round.
BUT I ALREADY HAVE AN AIR CONDITIONER – WHY INSTALL A HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATION SYSTEM?
HRV systems are already commonly found in commercial buildings such as hospitals, shopping centres, and offices in Australia. They are also already widely used domestically across Europe and the US. By installing a HRV/ERV (Energy Recovery System) alongside solar panelling, insulation and effective air sealing, the energy efficiency of your home will be significantly reduced, meaning less active heating or cooling is required. Reducing your bills and your impact upon the environment.
In addition, the ability of the HRV to filter incoming air as it enters the system greatly improves the air quality in your home. And with the poor to hazardous air quality many of us have been experiencing over the last few months due to the recent devastating bushfires, this is particularly important and relevant.
HRV EXPLAINED – HOW DOES HRV IMPROVE THE AIR QUALITY IN YOUR HOME?
The systems are designed to bring clean filtered air into areas within your home where you spend the most time, such as the dining and bedrooms whilst removing air from rooms with the worst air quality, such as the kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Incoming air is filtered so that pollutants are reduced.
With an HRV system, you can enjoy high-quality filtered air year-round. Fresh, clean air is great for the overall health of your home and family, especially for the young, elderly, and those with respiratory conditions (such as asthma).
INTERNAL TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Another great benefit of the HRV system is the ‘heat recovery’ part – in other words, how the system works to retain up to 90% of the heat of the outgoing exhaust air.
The below diagram illustrates how cold air captured from outside is filtered into the house and using the outgoing ‘dirty air’ is warmed to a comfortable temperature. The opposite can be applied for Summer.
You can then see how that process translates into the rest of the house.
FOR A HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE HOME, AN HRV SYSTEM IS A WISE INVESTMENT
With the increasing efficiency requirements of new homes, and the recent poor air quality experienced in many parts of Australia, technology that has the ability to filter air coming into the home and reduce the need for active heating and cooling, has never been more relevant and necessary.
So if you’re building a new home, and looking for ways to make it cleaner, healthier and more efficient, a Heat Recovery Ventilation system should be high on your list of priorities.