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Industry urged to add cooling tech into MVHR

As structures become better insulated, and the climate gets warmer, ventilation strategies should incorporate cooling technology (MVHCR) to combat overheating, according to an industry expert.

Paul Harrington, head of residential sales at Elta Fans.

Paul Harrington, head of residential sales at Elta Fans, comments: “Until recently, the use of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) has been the preferred method for maximising thermal comfort in an energy efficient way. Although it is effective when the outside air is cold, problems often occur when temperatures begin to rise.

“This is because an improvement in the insulation of our homes has meant heat is unable to escape, and is therefore retained within buildings more than ever before. Combined with a warming climate, this often leads to instances of overheating, and a drastic reduction in thermal comfort.

“While MVHR is an effective way of managing air circulation during colder months, it is notable that its benefits are rarely discussed in summer. Even the summer bypass function, which prevents incoming air from being passed over the heat exchanger, does little to help when the outside temperatures are soaring. Clearly, the ability to cool incoming air is becoming an increasingly important element of ventilation.”

Mechanical Ventilation with Heating and Coolth Recovery (MVHCR) units are capable of essentially acting in reverse, passing outgoing cooler air over the heat exchanger, which helps to ensure the incoming air remains ambient.

The ability to cool incoming air also has a knock-on, positive impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of air conditioning. MVHCR prevents the coldness within the air from escaping, working in tandem to reduce the stress placed on air conditioning units, and achieve the ideal internal temperature.

Mr Harrington concludes: “The importance of MVHCR can be outlined by comparing it to air conditioning in a car. If you open a window, the vehicle’s climate control has to work harder in order to maintain the desired temperature. The same applies in buildings, and ventilation systems that allow warm air to enter are essentially working against air conditioning units.

“MVHCR is the year-round solution, able to heat and cool incoming air in an energy efficient way, to ensure optimum thermal comfort regardless of the outside temperature.”

28 August 2019

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