Understanding the role of ventilation units with heat recovery in indoor air quality

zoned HRV ventilation

The majority of energy losses in buildings occur in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Recovering waste heat from HVAC systems can therefore make a significant contribution to energy efficiency and thus to reducing gas emissions. Cost-effective heat recovery technologies are an important part of both reducing energy consumption in buildings and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Improving indoor air quality with Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems (HRV) is easier as they provide a constant supply of warm, fresh air. Considerable emphasis needs to be placed on reducing individual exposure to indoor air pollutants, so it is necessary to analyse indoor sources and the possibility of reducing emissions from these sources. Creating a healthier home environment with HRV is the way to do it.

The impact of heat recovery ventilation on reducing indoor pollutants

When you open a window to let some air in, especially in winter, you're losing a lot of heat that needs to be replaced. Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems have become a practical solution for residential and commercial buildings. These innovative systems allow the exchange of stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, while recovering and redistributing heat, thereby improving comfort, reducing energy consumption and promoting a healthier living or working environment. By reducing humidity and increasing air circulation, HRV systems have changed the way we approach ventilation and air conditioning, providing a wide range of benefits for occupants and the environment.

The exchange of stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air facilitated by HRV systems helps to improve indoor air quality.  The constant circulation of fresh air minimises the build-up of airborne toxins and odours, helping to reduce the risk of respiratory problems and improving the overall wellbeing of occupants. By removing pollutants, allergens and other contaminants from indoor air, these systems create a healthier and more comfortable living or working environment.

Balancing humidity and fresh air: benefits of heat recovery systems

Heat Recovery Systems (HRS) provide cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy. Cooling, heating and ventilation are the main sources of energy consumption in buildings, so the aim of heat recovery systems is to reduce energy consumption and save significant amounts of it, while at the same time replacing exhaust air with fresh air for domestic use. The improved air quality means that your home won't be filled with irritants such as pollen and pollution, as the air is filtered throughout the building. Benefits of balancing humidity with heat recovery ventilation are truly enormous.

HRV systems effectively regulate the humidity in a room by balancing the exchange of moisture between the incoming and outgoing air streams. The benefits of HRV go beyond energy savings by reducing things like humidity and condensation, which can cause health problems and damage walls and structures over time.

How ventilation with heat recovery contributes to a healthier home environment?

While the composition of the atmosphere in terms of its main components (oxygen and nitrogen) is essentially the same indoors and outdoors, the types and amounts of pollutants in indoor air differ from those found outdoors. Indoor air can contain a variety of pollutants, including particulate matter, tobacco smoke or biological contaminants such as bacteria, fungi, dust mites, spores and pollen, and other organic and inorganic chemical compounds, with associated impacts on health. Reducing indoor pollutants with HRV systems is much easier.

Providing a comfortable indoor environment and good indoor air quality for occupants in different weather conditions is the main objective of HVAC design in buildings, so the air will be cleaner and better for all inhabitants thanks to the creation of a self-contained environment with a good ventilation system. By controlling excess moisture, these systems prevent the growth of mould, mildew and other moisture-related problems, maintaining the structural integrity of buildings and ensuring a safe and healthy indoor environment. Humidity control also helps to minimise respiratory problems and promote optimal occupant comfort.

Addressing common indoor air quality concerns with heat recovery ventilation and air purification technologies

Improving indoor air quality with heat recovery ventilation also contributes to sustainability by promoting energy efficiency. Well-designed ventilation systems with heat recovery capabilities not only improve IAQ, but also reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower utility bills and a smaller environmental footprint. HRV systems have become an integral part of modern building infrastructure, ensuring occupant wellbeing and comfort while supporting green practices and sustainability.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), found in paints, solvents, cleaning products and building materials, can release harmful gases into the air that can cause eye and throat irritation, headaches and long-term health effects if overexposed. Although it is difficult to eliminate all VOCs from the air, it is worth taking action, because better air quality reduces chronic illnesses. With heat recovery ventilation systems, you can provide a much cleaner and more consistent air environment all year round, keeping cool in summer and warm in winter with smart and efficient technology.

The synergy between heat recovery ventilation and air purification technologies

Indoor air quality has gained a new focus with the advent of COVID-19. Ventilation is perhaps the most commonly used strategy to reduce indoor air concentrations of hazardous substances. However, when outdoor air is more polluted, or in certain situations where ventilation is not possible, other methods must be used, such as source control and pollutant extraction. The latter includes air purification technologies, one of the emerging areas of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Various air treatment technologies can be used to control pollutants and include physicochemical technologies such as filtration, adsorption, UV photocatalytic oxidation, UV disinfection and ionisation.

Indoor air quality cannot be overlooked when it comes to our health and well-being. A proactive approach to IAQ not only benefits us in the present, but also ensures a sustainable, healthy future. By taking positive steps to improve IAQ early on, we pave the way for a healthier, more comfortable environment in which to live and work. From understanding the impact of common pollutants to implementing effective solutions, every step we take to improve IAQ matters. Making indoor air quality a priority is important because when we breathe better, we live better.


Alnor Ventilation Systems
Krakowska 10 Avenue
05-552 Wola Mrokowska

tel. +48 22 737 40 00