With outside temperatures plummeting and ‘condensation season’ well and truly upon us, John Bradley, head of residential sales at Elta Group Building Services, argues that despite their established status, the drawbacks of single room heat recovery ventilators (SRHRV) units outweigh any short-term gains.
Social housing providers’ perception that single room heat recovery ventilators are the only viable energy saving approach to ventilating habitable rooms in existing homes means many are missing out on the performance gains and cost savings offered by modern alternatives, according Bradley.
Bradley commented: “Many local authorities and housing associations have relied on SRHRV units to resolve condensation dampness related issues for years. While the technology may have been established for some time and does a reasonable job in certain instances, they can be prone to internal and external short circuiting of air, leading to poor performance and an undesirable drain on already-tightened maintenance budgets.
“Often perceived by tenants as expensive to run and noisy to operate, these units are either left on at lower than required speed settings or turned off altogether — both of which limit any ventilation effectiveness.”
Bradley is urging those faced with tackling condensation issues to explore innovative solutions such as Single Room Alternate Flow with Heat Retention fans, which are capable of improving both ventilation and cost-effectiveness for social housing providers and their tenants.
Bradley continued: “All the evidence suggests that the next generation of condensation dampness control ventilation equipment for habitable rooms lies in the form of alternate flow with heat retention technology. With a ceramic heat retention core rather than a heat exchanger, and alternate instead of simultaneous supply and extraction, such units are much smaller, quieter, easier to maintain, and around half the cost to run.
“As housing organisations look to improve living conditions under greater budgetary constraints for them and their tenants, Single Room Alternate Flow with Heat Retention fans offer a very practical and cost-effective solution.”