As we strive to build homes that are more energy efficient , we look to improve the insulation properties and air tightness of the structure. The improvement in the buildings structure leads to a reduction in the air leakage factor of the property which then presents us with issues regarding ventilation.
With modern, well insulated and air tight homes, we now need to consider improving the method of ventilation to ensure that we remove the water vapour that we produce going about our daily lives. Failure to deal with the water vapour in a home leads to un-slightly black mould and damp patches forming. With reductions in the air movement through the property, we also have issues relating to lingering smells and other pollutants given off by the materials that we use to construct the building and the furnishings etc.
Traditionally, air bricks or trickle vents are installed to enable fresh air to pass into the home and intermittent fans are introduced to offer extraction from areas of higher moisture content. This method whilst covering the requirements of the ventilation, goes against our desire to reduce energy losses from the building as we introduce penetrations through the fabric and also expel large volumes of heated air to be replace by cold air from outside the home.
There is a system ventilation that can deal with the requirements of controlling the moisture levels in the home and supplying fresh air to prevent the house becoming stale. Whole dwelling/building ventilation of Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery, combines a system of ducts to remove stale air and supply fresh air and a heat exchanger which can recover a percentage of energy from the moist stale air that is extracted.
Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery
Be extracting moist stale air from each of the wet rooms in the home, the system can remove any unwanted moisture and help prevent the development of black mould and damp patches in the building.
Fresh air is ducted into the dry habitable rooms to provide fresh clean air for the occupants to breathe, this removes the requirement for either trickle vents or air bricks in the fabric of the property.
By utilising a heat exchanger between the warm moist air and the fresh air from outside, the system is able to recover a percentage of the energy that would have been lost from the home, either through the vents or via the extractor fans.
Filters in the system help to reduce airborne contaminants in the property which improves the quality of the air in the home for allergy sufferers.
A radical duct system utilises multiple flexible ducts to access the relevant rooms. It can be easily threaded through the structure and requires smaller penetrations through the fabric.
A solid duct system utilises solid plastic square or round ducts to extract and deliver air too the relevant ceiling vents. Consideration is required when making access through joists etc.