Best Practice Makes Perfect - June 2011

This article appeared in HA: Housing Association, June 2011

Paul Rainbird, Operations Manager, at Titon, offers some tips for getting whole house ventilation right first time.

Competent Person’s Schemes, like the Gas Safe Register, are well known. However, it is only in the last few months, following the updates to the Building Regulations that the industry is focusing on domestic ventilation. The new regulations mean that whichever ventilation strategy is chosen, it needs to be installed properly, commissioned appropriately and the system “handed over” to the end user to ensure correct and effective use. And although training is important (which is why Titon has just launched a BPEC Certified Training Course), there are some simple things that can be done to make an installation successful. Always following the advice given in the Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide, which accompanies Part F, should be a prerequisite of any installation.

Fully mechanical whole house systems such as Extract and Supply with Heat Recovery (MVHR) have vastly increased in popularity due to the energy saving benefits they offer. Installed well, such a ventilation system will perform as designed, keep the occupants healthy and the air clean, as well as eliminating condensation and mould growth. However, installed badly or shoddily it won’t work as it was meant to, it will use far too much energy and won’t deliver the benefits of decent ventilation. So take the time to get it right.

Once installed a system must be commissioned as it is a requirement of all systems and included in Part F of the regulations. A good commissioning process would be to check the installation against the design drawing, check the manufacturer’s instructions are available, make sure the installation matches the design, and that the correct controls are installed. You’ll also need to check that any condensate pipes are fitted correctly and that the airflows are adjusted to meet the requirements of Part F for that dwelling room by room. You should also note any alterations to the original design and make sure they are not impeding the efficiency of the system.  The commissioning should be completed so that the controls are left in working order and once a proper system handover is complete, the home occupier can rest safe in the knowledge that their ventilation system will be doing its job.

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