Are MVHR Systems a Worthwhile Investment?

It can be a tricky question. Each property is different. In general, having a properly installed MVHR system will likely reduce heating bills when compared to using conventional bathroom fans or relying on natural ventilation through open windows.

If you’re thinking about installing heat recovery ventilation but aren’t entirely convinced, the following guide should help you decide. 

What is MVHR?

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems have become increasingly popular in recent years as an energy-efficient way to ventilate homes and buildings.

MVHR is a whole-house ventilation system that works by extracting stale air from bathrooms, kitchens, and other humid areas and passing it through a heat exchanger to recover the heat before expelling it outside. At the same time, fresh outdoor air is drawn in and passed through the heat exchanger, where it is preheated before being distributed to living areas.

The heat exchanger is designed to allow the transfer of heat while preventing the mixing of the two air streams.

This means that stale air is continually being filtered whilst clean, fresh air is supplied to the rest of the property. This helps to improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants, allergens, and other harmful particles that can lead to health problems.

An HRV system can recover up to 90% of the normally wasted heat and reduce your heating requirements by up to 25%. Your initial investment could be paid back within five years. Of course, factors like the air tightness of your property must come into the equation but the cost of running a heat recovery system is around €70 to €100 per year.

Benefits of Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

  • Improves the indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • Recovers up to 90% of normally wasted heat
  • Reduce your heating costs
  • Recovers up to 95% of normally extracted heat
  • The best available ventilation system for new homes
  • Eliminates mould, mildew and condensation
  • Removes normal bathroom fans and window vents
  • Your home is quieter and draft free
  • Constant supply of fresh, healthy, filtered air to your home
  • No trickle vents or bathroom extractor fans required
  • Balanced heat distribution throughout the home
  • Complies with all the latest building control requirements
  • Fully controllable with manual or remote controls

MVHR for New Houses

Installing MVHR into a new build is much simpler, and is a great investment. It will improve indoor air quality, lower your heating costs and reduce condensation. 

This will also futureproof the value of your home, as it meets Building Regulations. Yet another reason that MVHR systems are worth it.

MVHR for Old Houses

For old properties retrofitting is a possibility, however, it comes with its difficulties. Older houses are generally less airtight than newer builds, and to get the largest benefits from an MVHR heat recovery system, you need a property to be as airtight as possible. 

Older buildings are often leaky, with various background ventilation systems built in, causing them to not be particularly airtight. Many of these buildings get heavily insulated and have double glazing installed, reducing draughts and increasing air tightness. While great, this creates its own issues, such as dampness, mould and condensation.

MVHR systems can help reduce or eliminate these issues.

There will be occurrences where not all rooms in an older property can have MVHR ducting run directly to them due to their construction. However, it will be possible to install it on the top floor, allowing for bedrooms and bathrooms to be condensation and mould-free.

Typical Lifespan of MVHR Units

On average, the lifespan of an MVHR unit will be around 15 years. This does not however mean that the whole unit will need replacing after 15 years. Many individual part defects can be solved by replacing that part. 

Homeowners sometimes choose to replace their units much sooner than that 15-year time frame. This is simply because newer units are often more energy efficient than older units, and provide better performance.

However, timely servicing of MVHR systems enhances the longevity & efficiency of the system for years to come.

Is MVHR Fit for You?

Heat recovery systems can be a great investment if you’re looking to improve indoor air quality, reduce energy consumption, and lower carbon emissions. 

However, it’s important to consider individual circumstances and priorities before making a decision. It’s also important to consult an experienced contractor to help you determine the best solution for your needs. 

Here at Flynn Heat Recovery Systems, we strive for excellence in every job we undertake and with a team of highly trained experts, we are here to help you improve your indoor air quality and heat your home. With a vast range of products and all the technical help you need, we always ensure that you receive the best solution to suit your home or building.

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