There’s a growing trend among homeowners in Ireland to achieve a healthier indoor environment, all while maximizing efficiency. The need for fresh, filtered air in homes has never been more apparent. Nowhere is this more evident than in existing properties, where retrofitting solutions play a vital role in bringing homes up to contemporary standards.
In this blog post, we will delve into the world of mechanical ventilation systems in existing properties, focusing on these systems can transform your home’s air quality and overall comfort.
Proper ventilation is crucial in older properties for several reasons. Older buildings often lack the modern construction techniques and materials that are used in newer structures, which can lead to unique challenges related to indoor air quality, health, and building preservation. Here are some of the key reasons why proper ventilation is essential in older properties:
Improved Indoor Air Quality:
Older homes are more susceptible to poor indoor air quality due to outdated ventilation systems or, in many cases, the absence of them altogether. Without adequate ventilation, the air indoors can become stagnant and laden with pollutants, including dust, pet dander, mould spores, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These contaminants can lead to a range of health issues, including allergies, asthma, and respiratory infections.
Good ventilation is essential for the health and well-being of the occupants of older properties. It can help reduce the risk of respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems associated with poor indoor air quality. Adequate ventilation is particularly important for older individuals, children, and people with pre-existing health conditions.
While older properties may not have been designed with energy efficiency in mind, improving ventilation can actually help with energy conservation. Properly designed ventilation systems can help regulate indoor temperatures, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling, and thus lowering energy consumption.
Older buildings are more likely to have issues with moisture intrusion due to deteriorating building materials, inadequate insulation, and outdated construction methods. Proper ventilation can help control humidity levels and prevent condensation, which can lead to mould growth, rot, and other structural damage.
Compliance with Building Codes:
As building codes and regulations evolve, older properties may not meet current standards for safety and health. Proper ventilation is often a requirement in modern building codes, and upgrading the ventilation system in older properties is necessary to comply with these regulations.
What Ventilation Systems Are Available?
In general, there are quite a few options available in the market. But we the most sought after systems fall into 3 categories:
MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery):
- MVHR systems are designed to provide controlled ventilation while also recovering heat from the outgoing air, making them highly energy-efficient.
- In an MVHR system, two separate air streams are used. One stream brings in fresh outdoor air, while the other exhausts stale indoor air. These streams pass through a heat exchanger, where heat is transferred from the warm, outgoing air to the incoming, cooler air.
- The result is that the incoming air is pre-warmed in the winter and pre-cooled in the summer, reducing the energy needed to heat or cool the air, and maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.
- MVHR systems are commonly used in well-insulated homes and buildings to ensure good air quality and energy efficiency.
- Retrofitting conventional MVHR systems into an existing property isn’t ideal due as these systems are designed to work in airtight properties. Moreover, it could be challenging to identify where to install the main unit, and then how to hide the duct runs around the house.
MEV (Mechanical Extract Ventilation):
- MEV systems use fans to extract air from moisture-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. This can help control humidity and prevent mould growth.
- MEV systems are typically used in smaller, simpler buildings or in conjunction with natural ventilation methods to ensure that indoor air quality is maintained.
DCV (Demand-Controlled Ventilation):
- DCV systems are designed to adjust ventilation rates based on real-time measurements of indoor air quality or occupancy. They are a way to optimize energy use and maintain good air quality.
- Sensors are placed throughout the building to monitor parameters like CO2 levels, humidity, or occupancy. When these sensors detect a need for increased ventilation (e.g., when a room is crowded or CO2 levels are high), the DCV system increases the ventilation rate.
- DCV systems can be applied to various ventilation methods, including both MVHR and MEV, to make them more efficient by tailoring the ventilation to actual demand.
- These systems are particularly useful in commercial buildings, schools, and other spaces where occupancy varies throughout the day.
Advantages of Retrofitting with Single Room MVHR
Now that we understand the importance of proper ventilation in existing properties, let’s explore why a Single Room MVHR is an ideal solution for retrofitting.
Compact and Easy Installation:
Retrofit projects often come with spatial limitations. The S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR is designed with this in mind. Its compact size makes it a perfect fit for small or challenging spaces, ensuring easy installation without the need for major renovations.
Single Room Solution:
In many retrofit scenarios, homeowners may not want to install a whole-house ventilation system. S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR is the perfect compromise. It’s specifically designed for single-room applications, making it a cost-effective solution that targets areas where ventilation is needed the most.
The S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR is a high-efficiency unit, capable of recovering up to 93% of the heat from the outgoing air. This means you can enjoy a constant flow of fresh air without the worry of skyrocketing energy bills. It’s a win-win for your comfort and your wallet.
How the S&P Respiro Works?
1. Fresh Air Intake:
The S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR system draws in fresh outdoor air through an external vent. This air is free from indoor pollutants and allergens, ensuring that the air you breathe is clean and healthy.
Before entering your living space, the incoming air passes through a filter, removing dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. This filtration process ensures the air quality is optimized, particularly important for those with allergies or respiratory concerns.
3. Heat Recovery:
As the filtered outdoor air enters the system, it crosses paths with the outgoing, stale indoor air. This is where the magic happens. The heat exchanger within the S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR captures heat from the outgoing air and transfers it to the incoming air. This heat recovery process is incredibly efficient, recovering up to 93% of the heat, which would otherwise be lost in traditional ventilation systems.
Once the incoming air is pre-warmed through heat recovery, it is distributed into your living space. The result is a constant flow of fresh, warm air, even in the coldest of months. This not only enhances your comfort but also significantly reduces heating costs.
5. Exhaust of Stale Air:
Simultaneously, the S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR expels the stale, indoor air outside. This keeps your home’s air fresh and prevents the buildup of pollutants, moisture, and odours. It’s a simple yet effective way to maintain a healthy indoor environment.
Embark on Your Retrofit Project
When it comes to retrofitting existing properties in Ireland with a ventilation system that balances indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and comfort, the S&P Respiro Single Room MVHR is a top choice. Its compact design, single-room application, and impressive heat recovery capabilities make it the ideal solution for homeowners looking to upgrade their ventilation.
Contact Flynn Heat Recovery Systems today to learn more about this innovative solution and take the first step towards a fresher, more energy-efficient home. Your health, comfort, and wallet will thank you.