As the pressure mounts on property owners to tackle the energy consumption within their buildings, in this article we highlight how ventilation with heat recovery improves a building’s eco-friendliness and much more.
There is no denying the powerful influence our buildings have on the future of the planet. In the EU alone, today’s buildings account for approximately 26% of all CO2 emissions generated by the Union.
Delving even deeper, consider an individual country like Germany:
These startling statistics put into perspective that, if countries and municipalities are to have any chance of achieving their promised levels of CO2 reduction, it is vital that they tackle the amount of energy consumed by all buildings, be they residential or non-residential.
Furthermore, they should be eye-opening for property owners from a financial perspective. The more energy buildings consume on a daily basis, the greater a drain this is on the bottom line.
Progress is undoubtedly being made to address this growing issue. Countries are incentivising construction firms to adopt greener processes. Newly developed buildings are more energy-conscious than ever. More investment is being made into cleaner forms of generating energy, such as solar power, wind power and hydroelectricity.
However, while these actions are certainly making a difference, it is just as important to consider how we can get more out of the energy that buildings currently consume. How it can be retained and reused as efficiently as possible, reducing the need for buildings to constantly eat up energy.
One of the standout ways this will be achieved is through the use of residential ventilation with heat recovery. Below, we outline how this approach cuts down buildings’ energy dependence, and the benefits this brings to property owners and the wider world.
How heat recovery ventilation works
Good indoor climates are a direct result of how well ventilated a space is. As houses are now consistently built to be more airtight to retain heat, with fewer opportunities for natural ventilation, the need for mechanical ventilation in today’s landscape is greater than ever.
But, not all ventilation systems are created equal. To maximise the long-term cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness of these units, it is critical that they can provide an efficient level of heat recovery.
Heat recovery functions exactly as it sounds – it recovers and reuses the heat already held within a space, reducing the need to add more heat to it by consuming energy. Rather than warm, stale air escaping the building and cold, fresh air coming into it, heat energy is transferred from one airstream to the other to help maintain a consistent temperature indoors.
This can have a significant impact on the amount of energy a building consumes each year, and consequently the amount of CO2 that it generates. With heat energy recycled by the ventilation system, there is less need to introduce more heat into the space through a radiator or electric heater.
To illustrate this saving, consider a 100m2 house or apartment building that is being heated by a gas boiler. If the ventilation system employed did not have heat recovery, the boiler would have to run constantly to heat up the cold air coming from outside, spending a lot of energy.
By installing a ventilation unit with efficient heat recovery in a space of this size, it can reduce the CO2 generation of that building by 0.5 tons each year. In a country like Germany, where approximately 2 million buildings are heated by gas boilers, this has the potential to cut down the country’s annual CO2 load by up to 1 million tons!
This demonstrates the considerable impact heat recovery can have, and why it is increasingly sought-after in both the development of new builds and renovating old buildings – to reduce the immense environmental burden buildings have.
The far-reaching benefits of heat recovery ventilation
The environmental advantages offered by ventilation units with heat recovery is just one reason why they should be prioritised by today’s property owners.
Financial savings and incentives
By reusing heat energy, buildings can be less dependent on other heat sources to maintain comfortable temperatures. This can substantially reduce the energy the building consumes, and subsequently cut down the amount that property owners are paying for energy.
At Dantherm, we always encourage people to view a ventilation unit with heat recovery as an investment, rather than a one-off cost. Over time, the reduction in energy spent heating a building will cover the cost of the unit and then some – in a matter of years, the savings can make a massive difference to your bottom line.
In addition, this technology will greatly improve the chances of property owners benefitting from the financial incentives and subsidies that countries are offering to encourage people to be more eco-friendly.
Preserving structural integrity
Consistent ventilation plays an active role in maintaining the quality and strength of a building. Without a continual flow of fresh air entering the premises, this can allow moisture, bacteria and other contaminants to accumulate. Over time, this can damage the building structure, leading to expensive repairs or refurbishments.
This is particularly important for the owners of rented properties – in Germany, for instance, 54% of residents live in rented accommodation. Property owners cannot rely on occupants to regularly open windows to let fresh air into the building, especially during winter.
Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery ensures that there is a regular flow of fresh air within the building at all times. Not only keeping these spaces fresh for occupants, but also preserving the health of the building for longer.
Protecting the health of occupants
An influx of cold air into a building can place the wellbeing of residents at risk. By using a ventilation system with heat recovery, this helps to ensure living conditions are healthy for all occupants, with minimal risk of cold-related conditions developing or contaminants lingering in the air.
Heightened attractiveness to buyers
This generation of homebuyers and renters is more environmentally conscious than any generation before it. They also have heightened expectations over how comfortable and pleasant their buildings are to live in.
Ventilation units with heat recovery address both of these areas. By installing these systems, you demonstrate to potential occupants that the building will consume significantly reduced energy, which benefits both the environment and their bank balances, and it will ensure that the air inside the building will remain consistently fresh and warm.
With these in mind, these units can enhance the attractiveness of your properties compared to those that cannot offer the same capabilities.
Why Dantherm leads the way in heat recovery ventilation
We hope that this article has established the value of heat recovery in relation to residential ventilation. From positively affecting the environment to reducing energy costs, the advantages offered by these units can be truly game-changing.
At Dantherm, we have harnessed heat recovery technology in our range of residential ventilation units for many years. Our experience and expertise in this area ensure that units like the HCC 2PLA, HCC 260P1 and HCV 400P1 can deliver over 90% thermal efficiency, ranking them among the most efficient on the market according to the Passive House Institute.
Our ventilation units can employ one of three types of counter-flow heat exchangers:
Aluminium exchangers – characterised by low pressure loss, good sound reduction and high air output
Plastic exchangers – similar to aluminium exchangers, but tend to have better thermal efficiency
Enthalpy heat exchangers – slightly lower thermal efficiency than a plastic exchanger, but its special polymer membrane can simultaneously recover both the heat and humidity inside a building
With over 60 years’ experience in this market and products characterised by their reliability, sustainability, efficiency and ease of use, you can rely on Dantherm to find the ideal ventilation solution for your buildings.
For more information about our extensive range, download our Residential Ventilation Catalogue, or get in touch using the form below.
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