Heat Save helping to decarbonise social housing properties

Heat Save helping to decarbonise social housing properties

British ventilation manufacturer, Vent-Axia, has helped Hillingdon Council decarbonise its social housing properties by providing energy efficient heat recovery ventilation for residents’ homes.

Beginning in February 2022, the first phase of upgrades saw heat recovery ventilation installed in 150 properties. This is part of Hillingdon Council’s refurbishment roll-out through the government’s social housing decarbonisation programme, which targets properties with a lower energy efficiency (EPC) rating and funds a range of improvements to bring them in line with modern standards of Band C or above.

Depending on each property, the refurbishment works can include cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation, loft insulation, A+ Double-Glazed window replacement, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR), reducing cold bridging, and replacement canopies. To provide the mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, Hillingdon Council opted for two products from Vent-Axia’s Heat Recovery Retrofit Solution – the Lo-Carbon Heat Save and the Lo-Carbon Tempra. The range has been designed to deliver decarbonisation to social housing providers, offering increased ventilation while minimising unnecessary heat loss through heat recovery technology.

In addition to providing energy efficient ventilation, it was also crucial to protect the fabric of the properties and Hillingdon Council’s investment in its housing stock. Vent-Axia’s Heat Recovery Retrofit Solution helps with this too by protecting homes from condensation and mould, with the Heat Save single room alternate flow heat recovery units chosen for the habitable living room areas in the homes and the Tempra single room heat recovery units selected for the wet rooms (kitchen and bathroom). As well as the Heat Save and the Tempra, the Lo-Carbon Revive filter-less continuous running extractor fan was installed in single WCs. PFL Electrical is a framework contractor for Hillingdon Council working on the upgrades and has installed the ventilation in the homes.

James Higginson, Operations Director at PFL Electrical, explains, “As homes become more airtight, it becomes very important to install heat recovery ventilation. Heat recovery offers greater payback to both tenants and Hillingdon Council through energy savings, as well as protecting properties from condensation and mould. Vent-Axia’s Heat Save 100% does the job and is completely unique. We have installed it in habitable rooms while we installed the Tempra in kitchens and bathrooms. Both single-room heat recovery units work together to provide a well-ventilated and energy efficient solution without the need to retrofit a ducted whole house MVHR system. For retrofitting in existing properties this is ideal, especially since it offers less disruption for tenants as it is quick and easy to install.”

James continues, “In new build properties, a whole house ducted MVHR system is simple to install, but in retrofit properties it would mean a lot of disruption since ducting would have to be installed through joists and floor boards, making it a much larger job. With the Heat Save you can install an effective solution in two days, as opposed to retrofitting a ducted system which would take significantly longer and multiple trades. It’s perfect for tackling social housing damp and mould properties quickly and efficiently.”

The UK is committed to meet Net Zero targets by 2050, setting a tough challenge for social housing providers to improve their energy efficiency and so lower the carbon emissions in their properties, without detrimentally affecting the indoor air quality (IAQ) in their homes. Increasing airtightness in homes to improve energy efficiency, without providing adequate ventilation, can create areas where moisture condenses, leading to mould growth which blights many homes across the UK. Social housing providers recognise the challenges and are looking for solutions to protect their housing stock and residents. This is where Vent-Axia can provide the right ventilation solution to support their journey towards Net Zero and healthier homes.

The Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon Heat Save is designed to offer either single room heat recovery or form part of a whole house heat recovery ventilation solution for existing homes. Alternate flow heat recovery offers a balanced, modular, customisable ventilation system that can be easily retrofitted, the company says, providing both supply and extract while recovering heat from the air. Achieving up to 84% heat recovery, Heat Save uses the warmth from outgoing air to heat incoming air to avoid heat loss and to reduce energy bills for households. Using two or more fans within a property, the unit uses a reversible fan that alternates between supply and extract every 70 seconds.

Meanwhile, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Tempra single room heat recovery unit is a discreet, low energy, continuously running alternative to traditional extractor fans that offers affordable heat recovery of up to 78% while improving air quality on a room-by-room basis. The through-the-wall mounted unit simultaneously extracts stale air and introduces fresh air – warming the incoming airflow with heat recovered from the exhaust air. Allowing simple installation through a 100mm diameter hole in a wall, the innovative design of the unit enables standard bathroom, kitchen, toilet or utility room fans to be easily changed for a Tempra without the need to make the install hole larger. The unit’s performance, using a low carbon DC motor, brings significant energy savings and will help reduce a home’s carbon footprint.

Vent-Axia’s Heat Recovery Retrofit Solution has been specifically designed for easy, lower cost retrofit of heat recovery to save maximum energy and emissions in the social housing sector. The Heat Recovery Retrofit Solution range consists of three different Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery units, which can be used together to help improve IAQ and maximise energy savings by introducing heat recovery to the property. The range comprises: the Lo-Carbon Heat Save and the Lo-Carbon Tempra, which are both wall-mounted through-the-wall units; and the Lo-Carbon Calido, which utilises a simplified ducting system that can run within the home to supply fresh filtered air to a different room.

For more from Vent-Axia, click here.

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