Energy savings 101: how ventilation units with heat recovery can cut your bills

zoned HRV ventilation

While the energy efficiency of any building can be improved through better insulation and the installation of things like double glazing, there is more that can be done to ensure that buildings and homes make the most of the heat in their immediate environment. The benefits of heat recovery systems, which recycle the energy in stale air and transfer it to the fresh air coming in, are plentiful.

Buildings consume energy mainly for cooling, heating and ventilation. The aim of heat recovery systems is to reduce this energy consumption. Therefore heating, cooling and ventilation of buildings using heat recovery have become more significant in recent years since it contributes in decreasing energy demand for HVAC. Reducing heating and cooling costs with HRV is a great solution.

Maximising your energy savings with heat recovery ventilation

A heat recovery system is undoubtedly a money saver on energy bills - domestic system can recover up to 95% of the heat that is normally lost, saving up to 25% on heating bills compared to using window vents and bathroom fans. One thing to bear in mind when considering the purchase of a heat recovery system is that energy prices are certain to rise over the next few years, so a system that reduces costs is certainly an advantage.

Energy savings with heat recovery ventilation system are linked to keeping your home at the optimum temperature. There is no need to turn the heating on and off to maintain a constant temperature. It's much cheaper than turning on heating appliances at high temperatures for short periods. HRV also reduces the risk of humidity in the air by letting in fresh air and removing damp air. As a result, it's easier to heat the home more efficiently, cutting energy bills with ventilation units.

How heat recovery units reduce heating and cooling costs?

Heat recovery is commonly known as an air-to-air heat or energy recovery system that operates between two sources at different temperatures. In other words, it is based on heating the incoming air with the recovered waste heat, thus reducing the heating loads. Energy efficiency standards are used around the world to ensure that products meet a minimum level of efficiency, so it is understandable that reducing the heating and cooling costs is not only good for the environment, but also good for your wallet.

Theoretically, it can be said that a heat recovery system is a particular application of the first law of thermodynamics. The heat exchange process helps to reduce the energy required to condition the incoming air, resulting in significant energy savings. This is why waste heat recovery has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it improves energy efficiency.

How often should ventilation be cleaned?

The frequency of ventilation system cleaning depends on factors like building type, occupant count, outdoor air pollution, pets, smokers, and overall air quality and performance. As a general guideline, residential ventilation systems should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years, while commercial or industrial systems may require more frequent cleaning due to higher usage and air pollution levels.

Understanding the heat exchange process: a closer look

A heat recovery system works via a heat recovery ventilation unit which is usually located in the attic, roof space or plant room of a building. The extract and supply air do not flow within the same ducts  and there would be no cross contamination of the different air flows. The heat recovery unit is connected to room air valves via a network of ducting throughout the building.
Mechanics of heat recovery systems is quite simple. For example, if the indoor temperature is 20 degrees and the outdoor temperature is 0, the warm air is extracted and passes through the heat exchanger component, heating the cool incoming air to the point where the fresh incoming air is approximately 18 degrees. These figures are for a heat recovery unit with 90% efficiency. Needless to say, this is a huge difference to an open window letting the 0 degree unfiltered air into the house.

The role of ventilation units with heat recovery in sustainable living

As we know from the past, due to the energy crisis and the rapid rise in electricity costs as a result, people have developed new and more efficient equipment, such as HRS, to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. Buildings have been made tighter and better insulated to help save energy. Reducing the energy consumption of buildings is crucial to mitigating the effects of climate change. Buildings can become more energy efficient through the use of more efficient technologies and optimal building design.
Investing in energy efficiency is often described as a 'win-win': by reducing the amount of energy used individually to save money, efficiency measures can reduce energy consumption globally. Energy-efficient appliances may cost more upfront, but they often deliver net savings to energy consumers in the long run.

Heat Recovery Systems are a very promising technology as they offer significant energy savings in a number of sectors, particularly in residential and industrial buildings. As the production of clean energy becomes more important, the efficient use of energy becomes crucial. This is due to the increasing cost of energy production. As a result, HRS are attracting worldwide attention for their potential to save energy and reduce the world's greenhouse gas concentrations.

Calculating the return on investment for a heat recovery ventilation system

The ROI of heat recovery ventilation systems is a frequently discussed topic. The cost of heat recovery varies between customers and applications. Heat recovery systems are tailored to individual demands and are based on the size of the house, the number of extract and return points required and the requirements of the heat recovery unit itself. If energy costs are reduced, the initial investment can be recovered within a few years through the constant supply of recovered hot air. A heat recovery system can recover up to 90% of normally wasted heat and reduce your heating requirements by up to 25%, providing a payback on the initial investment within five years.

Installing a heat recovery system is expensive because you have to install the operating system and the ductwork to each room. Installing an HRV system may not seem like an obvious way to save money, but it can reduce your energy consumption and save you money in the long run. Efficient ventilation keeps the heat in your home, it also ensures that the air is clean and dry. This means that your home heats up more easily and quickly, so energy savings with heat recovery ventilation are really significant.

Tips for optimising your ventilation system for maximum energy efficiency

Properly designed ductwork systems with optimised airflow can improve energy efficiency, so it is recommended that design and installation avoid sharp bends and long duct runs that can impede airflow and increase resistance. In addition, insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces, such as attics, can prevent energy loss and reduce heat gain or loss.

In addition, the installation of motorised dampers and zone controls can help to achieve effective zoning. What does it mean? Zoning your ventilation system allows you to control airflow to specific areas or rooms based on occupancy and demand; by directing airflow only where it is needed, you can avoid wasting energy in unoccupied spaces. The installation of motorised dampers and zone controls can also help to achieve effective multi-zone control.


Alnor Ventilation Systems
Krakowska 10 Avenue
05-552 Wola Mrokowska

tel. +48 22 737 40 00