How does a decentralised MVHR work and when is it the right choice?

To ensure a healthy and comfortable indoor climate, MVHR units are installed in new buildings. However, this is difficult and costly in already existing homes as it requires insulated ducts. A good solution is a decentralised MVHR unit. A decentralised MVHR is a ventilation system where heat recovery takes place in a single room in the house, as opposed to a normal MVHR where all the air is returned to a central unit and then distributed throughout the house.


MVHR is short for "heat recovery". It is a technology that recovers heat from a home's ventilation or exhaust air and uses it to pre-heat fresh air entering the home. This ensures a healthy and comfortable indoor climate and saves energy costs related to heating the home.


How does a decentralised MVHR work?

A decentralised MVHR treats the air in each room individually, making the system more flexible than centralised systems. You no longer need a duct system to benefit from MVHR functions. You simply use a duct between the inside and outside walls. Inside this duct is a heat exchanger that extracts heat from the exhaust air and transfers it to the fresh air entering the building. A decentralised MVHR system only requires a wall duct and electricity.


When is a decentralised MVHR a good choice?

A decentralised MVHR is particularly suitable for smaller buildings and spaces such as apartments, houses, offices or classrooms. It can also be a good solution for buildings where it is not possible to install air ducts, such as older buildings. A perfect solution for renovation projects and particularly suitable for living rooms in combination with a mechanical ventilation system in the rest of the house. There is no need to renovate in order to enjoy heat recovery.


Advantages of a decentralised MVHR

Decentralised MVHR systems have several advantages over standard MVHR systems. Some of the main advantages are listed below:

1.  Flexibility
Decentralised MVHR systems are more flexible in design and installation than normal/centralised systems, allowing better adaptation to the specific needs of a space. Decentralised MVHR units do not require ductwork and are smaller in size, making them suitable for renovating existing homes.

2.  Better air quality and comfort
Decentralised MVHR systems provide a constant supply of fresh (heated) air and good ventilation, improving the air quality in the building. This can contribute to a healthier and more comfortable indoor climate.

3.  Energy savings
Decentralised MVHR systems can contribute to significant energy savings. The heat released from the ventilation or exhaust air is recovered and used to heat the fresh air that is returned to the home. This means that less energy is used to heat the home, but it is also more efficient because fewer ducts are needed to transport the air. In addition, these types of units have less pressure and heat loss due to the absence of ducts.

4.  Less prone to breakdowns and easier to maintain
Decentralised MVHR systems operate independently and locally, without ducts. This makes the system easier to maintain and any problems easier to resolve. However, it is still important to change the filters at least twice a year.

5.  Lower costs
Decentralised MVHR systems are often cheaper to install and maintain than centralised systems because they require fewer ducts and pipes to move the air. They are also more energy efficient, which can reduce energy costs.

6.  Quieter
No ducts also means less noise. A decentralised MVHR unit is quieter thanks to the lower air pressure.


Installing a decentralised MVHR

It is advisable to leave the installation of a decentralised MVHR to a professional installer experienced in this type of systems. They can advise you on the best options for your building and carry out the installation safely and efficiently.


Would you like to know more?

Do you still have questions after reading this blog? We are here to help you with any ventilation-related issue. Please contact our customer service team.

Zehnder Decentralised MVHR ComfoAir 70
Zehnder_DecentraleWTW_Air 70