Improving Efficiency Through Heat Recovery - February 2015

Mike Matlin, UK Sales Manager - Titon Vent Systems Division provided a comment for a Heat Recovery special feature published in H&V News – February 2015:

There is a growing awareness about the importance of indoor air quality, which means mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems have an ever important role to play.

Inadequate ventilation in modern, airtight homes may cause condensation, which can lead to mould growth and inadequate removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or “off gassing,” creating “Toxic Home Syndrome”. This may lead to health related issues for occupants, such as respiratory diseases – asthma in particular. While Part F of the Building Regulations (England and Wales 2010) and associated Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide helped to improve the design and installation of ventilation systems, filter maintenance should not be overlooked, as this plays a part in indoor air quality.

Filters need to be cleaned or changed regularly (two to four times a year depending on the dwelling’s location), as they can remove airborne particles from the inlet air before it is circulated throughout a property. Heat recovery ventilation is important for occupants’ wellbeing in a home – particularly for those who suffer with allergies, and conditions such as asthma.

The most significant piece of ventilation legislation to prepare for in 2015 is the Energy Related Products Directive (ErP). The Ecodesign regulations, which take effect in January 2016, cover both domestic and non-domestic MVHR units; these have been designed to reduce the energy consumption of products across the European Union. Regulation (EU) No 1254/2014 establishing requirements for the labelling and provision of supplementary product information on Residential Ventilation Units (RVUs).

As a result, manufacturers of residential MVHR units which consume more than 30 watts will be required to Energy Label their products. These will be required to display energy ratings (from A+ to G) based on results from testing a measure of performance characteristics. Manufacturers need to ensure their products are labelled by the beginning of 2016, stipulating each unit’s energy efficiency class, corresponding to specific energy consumption (SEC). Further requirements, such as summer bypass operation indication, will then be required in 2018.