MVHR: Everything you need to know about this ventilation system, including the costs

Self build house with large open plan kitchen under a high vaulted celing
This low-energy self build, designed by TAS Architects and built by Thompson Build, includes an MVHR system; a duct for the system is just visible in the vaulted ceiling. (Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) systems have become more mainstream over recent years as we’ve become increasingly aware of how the indoor air quality in our homes and workplaces can impact our health and wellbeing.

Plus, as we build better insulated, more airtight homes, the need for suitably designed ventilation systems (that go beyond more traditional methods such as trickle vents and bathroom and kitchen extractors), to deliver fresh air, is even more important.

Tim Pullen

Tim is an expert in sustainable building methods and energy efficiency in residential homes and writes on the subject for magazines and national newspapers. He is the author of The Sustainable Building Bible, Simply Sustainable Homes and Anaerobic Digestion - Making Biogas - Making Energy: The Earthscan Expert Guide.

His interest in renewable energy and sustainability was first inspired by visits to the Royal Festival Hall heat pump and the Edmonton heat-from-waste projects. In 1979

this initial burst of enthusiasm lead to him trying (and failing) to build a biogas digester to convert pig manure into fuel, at a Kent oast-house, his first conversion project.

Moving in 2002 to a small-holding in South Wales, providing as it did access to a wider range of natural resources, fanned his enthusiasm for sustainability. He went on to install renewable technology at the property, including biomass boiler and wind turbine.

He formally ran energy efficiency consultancy WeatherWorks and was a speaker and expert at the Homebuilding & Renovating Shows across the country.