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Does heat recovery venitlation replace heating?

MVHR Vs heating

When preparing to build a house, you have to take care of many issues and make countless decisions. You will also have to choose the right heating system that will meet your expectations and be energy efficient. Many people ask themselves whether heating can be replaced with a ventilation system with heat recovery. In this article we will answer this key question.

Warm air in heat recovery unit

Recuperators are used more often in energy-efficient houses. However, it is important to know that these devices cannot replace standard heating systems. The heat recovery ventilation system complements the heating systems used. How do recuperators support house heating? Thanks to heat exchangers, which are used to exchange thermal energy between the exhaust and supply air. The warmer air inside the house transfers its heat to the fresh air that comes in from outside. This solution saves money on heating bills.

House heating systems

The heating system is one of the biggest expenses when building a house. Therefore, the choice of the right heating system must be carefully evaluated. Today, you will find many offers on the market for heating your house - gas, oil, electric, solid fuel or biofuel heating system, or a heat pump based heating system. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, so when deciding on a specific system, it is worth taking into account the specificity of the house and its design. Heating will be supported by recuperation, which will reduce the costs of heat generation.
Heat-generating recuperator

A conventional recuperator collects heat from exhaust air and transfers it the air supplied to the inside. The operation of the recuperation system can also be supported by additional solutions. An example is the ground-source heat exchanger, which allows for additional and, more importantly, free energy from the ground. This means that the air is already pre-heated before it reaches the recuperator, which increases profits from the recuperation system. However, it is important to know that a ground-source heat exchanger cannot be used in every type of subsoil. When the plot where the house is being built is dominated by sandy subsoil, then the idea of installing a heat exchanger must be abandoned.

Warm air supplied by the HRV

Is there room for a fireplace in your new house? You can use the heat that the fireplace supplies and distribute it around the rooms using a recuperator. With this solution, you should be familiar with important rules to be taken into account when the fireplace and the recuperator form a single system. One of the rules says that this solution is only used when the fireplace only supports the main heating system and has an independent air supply duct.

To sum up, the recuperator cannot be treated as a substitute for the heating system, but its installation is still worth considering. This technology supports heating and will contribute to high savings. It should also be noted that as of 2021, besides RES, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery will play a key role in the calculation of primary energy factor, i.e. primary energy needed to heat the building. The current level of tightness of buildings and the quality of insulation has made ventilation responsible for the greatest heat losses. Recuperation solves this problem.

If You're looking for more tips and instructions about the MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery), check also the following articles:

  1. How can You install heat recovery unit in the ready-built house?  - the article about decentralized heat recovery systems.
  2. What is an Electrostatic Precipitator and how does it work? - the article about the highest filtration efficiency solutions.
  3. 14 Things You Need to Know about PremAIR - pretty self-explanatory title about the best HRU for clients looking for "premium" solutions. 
  4. Air distribution system for the MVHR - overview of FLX-REKU system: radial, semi-rigid ducting, plenum and distribution boxes, etc.