If you’re thinking about building an energy efficient home, then a heat recovery system could help you to meet some of the heating needs of your home, as well as helping with distributing the heat. Many of these systems also come with air filters, which makes them helpful in preventing potential allergens entering the house (which is a positive for sufferers of asthma!).
Heat recovery ventilation basically extracts the warm, moist air from inside the home, which would usually be lost through opening doors or windows, and passes it through a ‘heat exchanger’ (a system hidden away in the loft, or somewhere convenient) through a pipe or tube, and fresh air is simultaneously drawn in from outside and passed through this same box, where the pipes or tubes are placed fairly closely together. Through the pipes being in such close proximity, the heat is transferred from the extracting pipe, to the pipe with the fresh air. The extracted air never comes into direct contact with any incoming fresh air. This is why it is called ‘heat recovery’, it is recovering the heat which would otherwise be leaving the property.
You could think of it a bit like when we hold a cup of tea, the heat from the tea is transferred through the cup to our hands.
Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics.