Heat Recovery System

How to Get the Most out of Your Heat Recovery System

Updated on

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
Get Smarter On Architecture and Design

Get the 3-minute weekly newsletter keeping 5K+ designers in the loop.

Enter your Email to Sign up


One of the most important additions for energy-efficient homes is a heat recovery system. These systems exhaust stale air from inside the house, replacing it with fresh air from outside. The incoming air is filtered and then preheated using heat extracted from the outgoing air. This results in a system that ventilates a home while also ensuring an optimal temperature inside. The selection and installation of the heat recovery system are both important for its efficiency and performance. Here is what you need to do and think about to get the most out of your system.

Know the Required Airflow

Before looking at which systems are available, you need to know how much air you need to exhaust and bring in. There are various formulas used when calculating this. The area method considers the area of the space, measured in square feet or meters.

The air exchange method uses the total volume of the area to be ventilated and heated. Another formula used is the number of people occupying the space. Understandably, a higher number of people means you need to purchase a system with a higher ventilation rate.

The last method is the heat removal method. This takes into consideration the temperature difference between the inside and outside. A higher difference means more heat needs to be extracted from the air going out with the reverse applying as well.

Select Efficient Equipment

A heat recovery system can save you a lot of money in energy costs, but that will only happen if you choose an efficient one. Efficiency means the equipment should give you outstanding performance while using as little power as possible.

Heat recovery systems are tested and certified by relevant bodies depending on where you are located. Reputable retailers will also show the testing results for each heat recovery system they sell. If they don't, you can always ask the company to supply them before buying one.

Ensure Proper Placement of Exhaust Points

You should locate the ideal place to put your exhaust points to get the most out of your heat recovery system. These should be where there is more moisture in the house such as the utility room, kitchen, and bathroom. There should also be enough exhaust points in areas typically occupied, such as the living room.

Locate the Best Air Supply Points

To ensure you get as much fresh air as possible in the house, you should locate fresh air supply points. These points should be as far away from the exhaust points as possible. Living rooms and bedrooms are great options. 

Because the incoming air is typically one or two degrees below the air inside the house, it is a good idea to place these supply points away from where people typically sit or sleep.

Placing these supply points high so the fresh air mixes with the warm internal air before circulation provides a great outcome.

A heat recovery system can ensure the home remains ventilated, and the temperature remains stable inside the home. Choosing an efficient system and thinking carefully about exhaust and supply points will give you the best results.

Image source: hitachiaircon.com

Photo of author

About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.