What is "energy recovery ventilation"?
This is the process of extracting the warm contaminated air from your home and replacing it with the same volume of clean fresh air from outside. A heat exchanger in the ceiling cavity space recovers most of the heat energy from the contaminated air and uses this energy to warm up the fresh air before it enters the home.
How does ventilation help reduce my energy bill?
Damp or humid air requires a lot more energy to heat than dry air. This is down to the ability of water to absorb a large amount energy so the less moisture that is present in the air then the easier it is to raise the temperature of the air. Just think about how quick it is to heat your oven to 100 deg C, and then imagine how long it would take to try and boil the same volume of water as the volume of air inside the oven. A large amount of energy would be consumed raising the water to the same temperature as the equivalent volume of air. Although this is an extreme example, the energy difference between heating damp air vs. dry air is still significant.
It is also important to note the differences between a 'positive pressure' ventilation system and an 'energy recovery' ventilation system.
A positive pressure ventilation system only takes air from the ceiling cavity space and pushes this into the house. This can help push out moisture but may not be effective for a well built home with good seals around the doors and windows. A positive pressure system can also bring in very hot air from the ceiling cavity space on hot days, and very cold air at night time and cold winter days. This can push the temperature inside the house away from the set point of the heating / cooling system and can actually lead to an increase in overall energy consumption as a result.
My house is nice and clean - is the air still "contaminated"?
Quite probably. Just by occupying our homes we contaminate the air with the carbon dioxide and moisture we naturally breath out. We also contaminate our homes with cooking which can produce smoke and moisture as well as unpleasant cooking odours. Pets can also contaminate the air with dust from shedding fur and skin. Synthetic carpets, plastics, vinyls and paints can also give off low levels of volatile organic compounds (VoC's). Some timber flooring can also give off formaldehyde, and we also spray our homes with all sorts of aerosols such as fly-spray, air fresheners, deodorants, hair spray etc etc. Not to mention smoking or vaping which are severe sources of contaminants for any home. All of these contaminants and many others can help contribute towards asthma and allergy symptoms and unfortunately New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted just how important ventilation is for reducing the risk of infection from airborne viruses and this is also true for many other pathogens. So if someone in your house is sick then the illness may be less likely to spread if the home is properly ventilated.
Read: Ventilation - the secret weapon in the Covid battle
How will ventilation help with my mould problem?
Mould loves moisture so by constantly removing any damp air from the home and replacing this with fresher drier air then the conditions for mould growth are reduced significantly or eliminated altogether. If your home suffers from 'crying windows' in winter where condensation forms on the inside of your windows then you are likely at high risk of developing a mould problem, and this can ultimately lead to some serious health problems. Opening the windows for a few minutes a day for some natural ventilation can help reduce the moisture content in the home, but this also means that a lot of expensive heat energy will be lost at the same time
HFV350 is a balanced Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system that allows you to continuously ventilate your home whilst retaining most of your valuable heat energy.
With quiet yet powerful DC fan motors, this ventilation system can shift up to 350 cubic metres of air per hour - enough to properly ventilate most New Zealand homes.
By constantly changing the air in the home, moisture issues such as condensation are greatly reduced or eliminated completely!
Whilst natural ventilation such as opening windows may be sufficient in some situations, this may not be practical all of the time - particularly during the winter months when expensive heat energy would also be lost.
Modern homes are also well sealed and which prevents a lot of background ventilation from occurring and this can lead to condensation issues, even with double glazed windows.
Energy Recovery Ventilation overcomes the heat loss issue as most of the existing energy is recovered via a heat exchanger in the ventilator body and this energy is used to warm up the fresh air as it is drawn into the home from outside.
Odours and other contaminants such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) are also effectively reduced making the indoor air environment fresher and healthier.
The HFV350 energy recovery ventilation unit has been designed specifically for New Zealand homes and has a compact size to fit through most existing manholes, making installation easy and straightforward.
A smart and modern digital wall controller allows for 3 different fan speeds to be selected and other than turning the system on and selecting a fan speed there is very little else that needs to be done for the control of the HFV350 system.
It really is just 'set and forget' to enjoy the benefits of a fresher, healthier, and drier home!
Did you know that ANZ and Westpac also offer low interest home loan top-ups which can be used to purchase a ventilation system?
For more information please see our Mortgage Top Up page