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  • Fraser Duncan

MVHR: The Ultimate Guide to Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery


Are you searching for an energy-efficient ventilation system that provides a continuous supply of fresh air while retaining warmth? Look no further than Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR). In this guide, we'll delve into the fascinating world of MVHR, exploring its functionality, installation process, benefits, and more. Get ready to learn how MVHR can transform your indoor air quality and enhance energy efficiency.

MVHR: The Basics

MVHR, also known as Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery, is a sophisticated system designed to provide a constant supply of fresh air while minimising heat loss. By utilising a heat exchanger, MVHR systems recover and transfer the heat from outgoing stale air to incoming fresh air, significantly reducing energy wastage.

How Does MVHR Work?

  1. The MVHR process begins with extracting stale air from areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms.

  2. The extracted air passes through a heat exchanger, which captures the heat energy.

  3. Meanwhile, fresh air from outside is drawn into the system and also directed through the heat exchanger.

  4. The heat exchanger transfers the captured heat from the stale air to the incoming fresh air.

  5. The warmed fresh air is then distributed throughout the living spaces.

  6. At the same time, the stale air is expelled outside.

The Benefits of MVHR

Investing in an MVHR system offers numerous advantages that make it an attractive choice for homeowners and businesses alike. Let's explore some of the key benefits:

1. Enhanced Indoor Air Quality

With an MVHR system in place, you can enjoy a continuous supply of fresh air throughout your living spaces. The ventilation system efficiently removes stale air, pollutants, and excess moisture, promoting a healthier indoor environment.

2. Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

MVHR systems significantly reduce heat loss by recovering the heat from outgoing air. By recycling this heat energy, the system minimises the need for additional heating, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced heating costs.

3. Increased Comfort

Maintaining a consistent and comfortable indoor temperature becomes effortless with MVHR. The system's heat recovery capabilities ensure a steady supply of warm air, eliminating cold drafts and temperature fluctuations.

4. Noise Reduction

MVHR systems are designed to operate quietly, providing a peaceful and undisturbed environment. This makes them an ideal choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where peace and quiet are valued.

5. Eco-Friendly Solution

By reducing energy consumption and heat loss, MVHR systems contribute to a greener future. With their low carbon footprint, these ventilation systems help minimise environmental impact and align with sustainable living practices.

6. Condensation Control

One of the major challenges homeowners face is condensation build-up, which can lead to dampness, mould growth, and associated health issues. MVHR systems effectively manage condensation by extracting moisture from the air, keeping your home dry and healthy.

MVHR Installation: What to Expect

If you're considering installing an MVHR system in your home, it's essential to understand the installation process. While professional installation is recommended, here's a general overview of what you can expect:

1. Consultation and Assessment

Before installation, a qualified MVHR installer will visit your property to assess its suitability for the system. They will evaluate factors such as the building's layout, insulation levels, and ventilation requirements to determine the ideal MVHR setup.

2. Ductwork Design and Installation

Based on the assessment, the installer will design a ductwork system that maximises air circulation and efficiency. The ducts, typically made from lightweight and durable materials, are strategically positioned to supply fresh air and extract stale air effectively.

3. Installation of MVHR Components

Once the ductwork design is finalised, the installer will proceed with installing the MVHR components, including the heat exchanger, supply ventilator, extract ventilator, and filters. These components are connected to the ducting system to ensure proper airflow throughout the building.

4. Electrical Connections and Controls

The MVHR system requires electrical connections to power the ventilators, controls, and sensors. The installer will handle the electrical connections, ensuring that the system functions seamlessly and is compatible with any control interfaces or smart home integrations you may desire.

5. Commissioning and Testing

After the installation is complete, the installer will conduct thorough testing and commissioning to ensure the MVHR system operates optimally. They will verify airflow rates, adjust settings, and address any potential issues to guarantee the system's performance and efficiency.

6. Maintenance and Servicing

To keep your MVHR system in top condition, regular maintenance is essential. Filters should be cleaned or replaced periodically to maintain optimal air quality, and the system should be inspected by a professional to identify any potential faults or inefficiencies.

FAQs about MVHR

Q: Is MVHR suitable for all types of buildings?

  • A: MVHR is compatible with various building types, including residential homes, commercial buildings, and even retrofit projects. However, it's crucial to consult with an MVHR specialist to determine the system's suitability for your specific property.

Q: Are MVHR systems noisy?

  • A: No, MVHR systems are designed to operate quietly, ensuring minimal noise disturbance. Modern systems incorporate advanced soundproofing technology, making them virtually silent.

Q: Can MVHR reduce condensation on windows?

  • A: Yes, MVHR systems help control condensation by extracting excess moisture from the air. This reduces the likelihood of condensation forming on windows and other surfaces.

Q: How much maintenance do MVHR systems require?

  • A: MVHR systems typically require regular maintenance, including filter cleaning or replacement and occasional servicing by a professional. These measures ensure optimal performance and prolong the system's lifespan.

Q: Are MVHR systems energy-efficient?

  • A: Yes, MVHR systems are highly energy-efficient. By recovering heat from outgoing air, they reduce the need for additional heating, resulting in energy savings and reduced carbon emissions.

Q: Can I install an MVHR system myself?

  • A: While some homeowners may possess the necessary skills for DIY projects, installing an MVHR system is a complex task that requires expertise. It is recommended to hire a professional MVHR installer to ensure proper installation and optimal system performance.


MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) systems offer a range of benefits, including enhanced indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and improved comfort. By recovering heat from outgoing air, these systems minimise heat loss, reduce energy consumption, and contribute to a greener future. Installation should be performed by professionals to ensure proper functionality and optimal performance. With regular maintenance and servicing, an MVHR system can provide long-lasting benefits for your home or business.

Embrace the world of MVHR and experience the transformative power of efficient ventilation today!

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