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Can MVHR Heat or Cool a Property?

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Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems are popular for their ability to improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency. However, many people are still unsure about whether or not MVHR systems can heat or cool a house. In this article, we explore the functions of MVHR systems and how they can affect the temperature in a building.

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What is an MVHR system?

MVHR is a ventilation system that uses a heat exchanger to recover heat from the outgoing air. The MVHR system then transfers this heat to the incoming air. This results in a more efficient ventilation process, as the system can maintain a constant flow of fresh air into the building without the need for additional heating or cooling.

These ventilation systems will help you meet building regulations for ventilation.

How does an MVHR system work?

An MVHR system works by extracting stale air from inside the building through a series of ducts and filters. The stale air is then passed through a heat exchanger, where the heat is transferred to the incoming fresh air. The fresh air is then distributed throughout the building, while the stale air is expelled outside.

The heat exchanger in an MVHR system can recover up to 95% of the heat from the outgoing air. This can significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the building. Additionally, the system can also extract moisture from the incoming air. Reducing this moisture can help to control humidity levels and prevent the growth of mould and other harmful bacteria.

To learn more about this read our article What is MVHR?

Can MVHR Heat or Cool a Property?
The layout of an MVHR system

Can an MVHR system heat a house?

While an MVHR system is primarily designed for ventilation purposes, it can also help to heat a house. By recovering heat from the outgoing air, the system can reduce the energy needed to heat the incoming fresh air. This means that the temperature inside the building can be maintained without the need for additional heating.

However, it is essential to note that an MVHR system is not a heating system in itself. It can only help to supplement the heating system in the building. It does this by reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.

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Can an MVHR system cool a house?

The design of MVHR is not meant to cool a house in the same way as an air conditioning system However, the system can help to reduce the temperature inside the building by providing a constant flow of fresh air.

During the summer months, the incoming fresh air can be cooled using a mechanical cooling system or a natural ventilation strategy, such as opening windows at night to allow cool air in. The cooled air is then passed through the heat exchanger in the MVHR system, where the heat is transferred to the outgoing stale air.

While an MVHR system cannot provide the same level of cooling as an air conditioning system, it can help to reduce the need for additional cooling and improve the overall comfort of the building.

Can MVHR Heat or Cool a Property?
Condensation on a window in a house with inadequate ventilation

What are the benefits of an MVHR system?

There are several benefits to installing an MVHR system in a building, including:

Improved indoor air quality: An MVHR system can help to remove pollutants, allergens, and other harmful particles from the air, resulting in improved indoor air quality and better health for occupants.

Energy efficiency: By recovering heat from the outgoing air, an MVHR system can significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building, resulting in lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions.

Comfort: An MVHR system can help to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level inside the building, resulting in improved comfort for occupants.

Noise reduction: An MVHR system can help to reduce noise levels inside the building by providing a constant flow of fresh air, which can help to mask external noises.

Reduced condensation: By extracting moisture from the incoming air, an MVHR system can help to reduce condensation inside the building, which can help to prevent mould growth and other moisture-related problems.

Learn more about the issue caused by condensation in our previous article What Causes Condensation?

So, Can MVHR Heat or Cool a Property?

In conclusion, an MVHR system can help to heat or cool a house, but it is not a standalone heating or cooling system. MVHR supplements the existing heating or cooling system in the building by improving ventilation and reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. The system can recover up to 95% of the heat from the outgoing air, which can significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the building. Additionally, the system can also help to reduce the temperature inside the building by providing a constant flow of fresh air. Natural ventilation or mechanical cooling can help to cool this air.

Overall, an MVHR system is an excellent investment for those looking to improve indoor air quality. Additionally, it can help improve energy efficiency, and comfort levels in their homes or buildings. MVHR cannot replace a heating or cooling system, however, it can certainly help to supplement it and reduce energy costs. With correct installation and maintenance, MVHR can provide reliable service for years. MVHR also contributes to a healthier, more comfortable living environment.

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