Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery – how does it work?

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Gravity ventilation was the most common solution until recently. Currently, most houses are insulated with Styrofoam and have new windows. In this situation, gravity ventilation does not serve its purpose. The only sensible solution will be mechanical ventilation.

What is mechanical ventilation?

Modern buildings are very airtight, so that they do not have any loss of warm air. Proper air exchange in the house is essential for the people living in it and for the building. In tight modern houses, mechanical ventilation is the best solution.

With mechanical ventilation, new air enters the house through mechanical window or wall ventilators. All ventilators in the building are connected to a central fan, which sucks air from the inside and removes it outside.

>> See also: Gravity ventilation or recuperation?

Mechanical ventilation allows you to adjust the intensity of air exchange. This can be done by:

  • adjusting the fan,
  • closing and opening of exhaust grilles.

Mechanical ventilation with recuperation

Mechanical ventilation with recuperation, or heat recovery is an advanced type of ventilation used in modern homes. This type of ventilation involves the extraction of “old” air and supplying new air, which is immediately cleaned and warmed to the temperature inside the house.

>> See also: Recuperation – advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of mechanical ventilation with recuperation

The biggest advantage of mechanical ventilation with recuperation is to save on heating the building. With the latest recuperators can save up to 80%. This solution also has many other benefits, and these are:

  • fresh and clean air, which is essential for health;
  • constant and independent from weather conditions air exchange;
  • high climatic comfort, which cannot be achieved in buildings with gravitational ventilation;
  • possibility of using ground heat exchanger, i.e. energy from the ground;
  • lower costs of heating the house.
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Disadvantages of mechanical ventilation with recuperation:

  • higher investment cost than with gravity ventilation;
  • operating costs.

Recuperation, in which case is it the best solution?

Modern houses are very tight. Plastic windows, insulated building create a thermos in which there is no possibility of gravitational air exchange. If you do not install mechanical ventilation, without opening the windows there is no possibility of inflow of air from outside.

Ventilation is one of the most important installations because it removes old and moist air from the house. Its absence can cause damage to the building and the appearance of various fungi and mold, which are harmful to human health; they can cause allergies and asthma.

What is the cost of mechanical ventilation with recuperation

The cost of mechanical ventilation with recuperator, is about 6 – 8% of the cost of the entire house construction. For a house with an area of 120m2, the average total cost of recuperation is about 17 thousand zł, which consists of:

  • installation,
  • recuperator,
  • ventilation ducts,
  • other necessary accessories.

What does mechanical ventilation with recuperation consist of?

This type of ventilation consists of two elements:

  • recuperator – the most commonly chosen is the counterflow recuperator, which gives the greatest gains in energy;
  • ventilation ducts – there are several types available on the market:
    • insulated steel ducts,
    • polyethylene ducts,
    • hybrid systems.
Peter Bowers

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