Are there any MVHR disadvantages? We look at the cons of this ventilation system

Self build house with large open plan kitchen under a high vaulted celing
(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Wondering if there are any MVHR disadvantages that could ruin your dreams of installing one of these systems in the hope enjoying their many benefits? Our guide is here to reveal the possible downsides so you can be sure this is a feature you want to go ahead with buying and fitting. 

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) has so many benefits that it seems a shame to pick out their disadvantages, yet as these systems don't come cheap, it is crucial to be fully aware of their cons as well as the pros. 

David Hilton
David Hilton

David is a renewables and ventilation installer, with over 35 years experience, and is a long-standing contributor to Homebuilding and Renovating magazine. He is a member of the Gas Safe Register, has a Masters degree in Sustainable Architecture, and is an authority in sustainable building and energy efficiency, with extensive knowledge in building fabrics, heat recovery ventilation, renewables, and also conventional heating systems. He is also a speaker at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show. 

Passionate about healthy, efficient homes, he is director of Heat and Energy Ltd. He works with architects, builders, self builders and renovators, and designs and project manages the installation of ventilation and heating systems to achieve the most energy efficient and cost effective outcome for every home.

Paul Testa
Paul Testa

Architect Paul is the director of HEM Architects and a specialist in low-energy design. HEM Architects are well-versed in designing sustainable, energy-efficient new builds and extension schemes. He has also just completed an eco retrofit to his family home.

He taught the technology course for the MArch in Architecture at Sheffield University, and is a tutor for the Sustainable Architectural Studies Masters course. 

Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.