In Ireland, it seems like everyone is always talking about the weather. While we don’t have extreme temperatures like the rest of the world, the winter season can be quite chilly, as temperatures do routinely dip below freezing during January and February.  

As a homeowner in Ireland, you may be looking for a sustainable way to ventilate your home properly. One such resource is through a process called heat recovery ventilation. Below, we take a look at what this system is and how it works. 

What is Heat Recovery Ventilation? 

Heat recovery ventilation, also commonly abbreviated to the acronym HRV, is a type of ventilation system that transfers heat from stale exhaust air and passes it to the cold incoming fresh air, causing it to warm up for no cost. This innovative ventilation system is able to remove foul odors and bacteria from your home that are normally filtered throughout your home through your existing ventilation system.

Another benefit of heat recovery ventilation is that it also helps remove excess moisture from inside the home, which is the breathing ground for mould growth in homes.

How Does a Heat Recovery Ventilation System Work? 

After the installation process is complete, your heat recovery ventilation system will work continuously to pull moisture from wet rooms in the house. These rooms commonly include laundry rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms where condensation is caused by hot water or hot steam from dishwashers and dryers. 

The heat recovery ventilation system will extract the excess moisture in the air from these rooms and filter it to the other rooms in the house. Over 90% of the heat extracted through this process is recovered and passed into the incoming fresh air. 

For homes where we can run ductwork, we use our standard HRV system, but for homes where running ductwork is too difficult or invasive, we recommend our ductless HRV solution.  

Why is this Important? 

People spend a lot of time indoors. A survey conducted in the UK back in 2019 asked 2,000 parents about how much time they spend outdoors, with over half of respondents saying they spent less than one hour outside each day. These numbers have only increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, Ireland has seen one of the highest rates of telework employment; as of October 2020, these rates were as high as 47%

Despite the adaptation of a remote model at the onset of the pandemic, it’s become increasingly more popular, with approximately 95% of remote workers wanting to work from home even after the pandemic ends. This is a large reason why heat recovery ventilation systems have soared in popularity. Furthermore, it’s why they’ve become even more necessary. 

Damp homes with poor or no ventilation can be filled with bacteria. This bacteria includes dust, pet dander, and pollen. They can also be home to foul odours and volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as hairspray, household cleaners, and perfumes that residents routinely use during their day-to-day life. In some cases, mould spores can be in these ventilation systems, as well. This means every time your ventilation system runs, these harmful contaminants are spreading through your home like wildfire, causing respiratory illness and triggering allergies and Asthma. 

Even worse, studies have shown the link between these contaminants and their effect on mental health, as poor indoor air quality can cause anxiety, impaired memory, changes in personality and demeanour and hinder a person’s ability to concentrate. With so many families spending so much time indoors, this is the opposite of what you’d want. 

Why Do We Need to Recover Heat? 

Aside from the benefits listed above, homeowners need to recover heat for several reasons. First, it can help save you a lot of money on your energy bill throughout the year. The average energy bill in Ireland is €199 per 2-month bill. Homeowners who install a heat recovery ventilation system can save up to 12% on their energy bills.

Sustainability is the other reason to recover heat. Not only does this form of indoor heat recovery lower the amount of energy your home consumes, but it also updates your home to become more efficient. This could even be a huge selling point if you ever decide to sell your home due to a higher BER rating.

What Are the Pros and Cons of HRV?

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to install a heat recovery system, here are a few of the advantages of doing so: 

  • Can save money on your average energy bill.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Improves indoor air quality, which is better for your physical and mental well-being.
  • Increases the value of your home.
  • Extracts excess moisture from the air and reduces mould growth. 
  • Removes harmful and allergy-inducing contaminants from the air.
  • Reduces foul odours and makes your home smell fresh.

What about the cons?

Like any type of home system, an HRV does have some drawbacks. Here are a few of the most common: 

  • Cost of installation. An average HRV installation can cost €6,000 to install. 
  • Installation challenges. Most homes are straight forward but some can be difficult. For homes where running ducts is not feasible, we recommend our ductless HRV solution.

Contact AEI to Learn More About Heat Recovery Ventilation Installation

The decision to get a heat recovery ventilation system installed in your home is a big deal, which is why you need to turn to a trusted HRV installation company for help. Alternative Energy Ireland (AEI) is the leading renewable energy resource in Ireland. Our technicians are trained in the latest technologies and will work with you to update your home’s heating needs. Call us today at 01 4433 996 for more information.