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How do I maintain my mechanical fan or MVHR unit?

How do I maintain my mechanical fan or MVHR unit?
Posted on 21-3-2022 by Nienke Vinkenvleugel

We are regularly asked how a mechanical ventilator or heat recovery system should be maintained. This is a very good question, because good maintenance is a must if you want to get the most out of your ventilation system. This does not require intensive maintenance, but regular cleaning.

Although most people are aware of the importance of ventilation, almost 50% never clean the ventilation system in their house. Find the information you need here. If you still have questions after this, feel free to contact us, we will be glad to help you.

Why should I clean my ventilation system?

Your ventilation system constantly exhausts used air and ensures that fresh air is supplied. Grilles, filters and valves become contaminated by fine dust and dirt from inside and outside. If they are not cleaned properly, this air with dirt particles comes back inside. And that is just not what we want!
In addition, mechanical parts and air ducts become polluted because dust, bacteria, moisture and vermin get stuck. This has consequences for the air quality in the house, and the capacity of the system also decreases rapidly as a result. So it is important for both your health and the operation of the device to carry out maintenance (or have it carried out).

How often should I clean my ventilation system?

In order to keep your ventilation system and the air quality in your home good, you can use the following guidelines:

  • Clean ventilation grilles and valves once a month
  • Clean or replace filters every six months
  • Check and clean the inside of the fan every 2 years
  • Have the ventilation ducts cleaned once every four to six years


To save you a lot of trouble, special cone filters have been developed. These can be placed on the exhaust valves and prevent dirt from entering the ducts and the ventilation motor. This saves you a lot of trouble during cleaning. All you have to do is replace the cone filters and check how clean the exhaust duct is. What else can you clean yourself and what is better to have done? We'll explain.

What maintenance can I do myself?

You can do part of the maintenance of your ventilation system yourself. Here is a step-by-step plan:

  1. Remove the ventilation grids from the wall or ceiling and clean them with a brush or hoover. You can use a damp cloth to brush away any remaining dirt.
    Read here how to clean the ventilation grilles and valves.
  2. Valves are often set in a certain way; it is important that they remain in the same position for optimum system operation. Remove the valve from the housing and mark this position on the inside of the valve with a waterproof pen. You can then clean it with soapy water or a damp cloth.
  3. In a heat recovery system (MVHR), the filters must be replaced at least every six months. These can be cleaned once with a hoover, on the lowest setting. Do not do this more than once, however, after which it is time to replace the filters. If they become dirty sooner or you notice that you suffer from allergies, for example, you can of course replace the filters sooner. Filters are usually not present in a mechanical fan (MEV).


What should I better have cleaned?

Mechanical fans and MVHR units should be cleaned at least once every two years. You could do this yourself. However, it is best to have this done by a professional, because the fan is very accurately balanced by the manufacturer. Too much dirt or minor damage can throw the fan out of balance, causing it to ventilate less and make a nuisance noise.

In addition, have the ventilation ducts cleaned once every 4 to 6 years. You can only clean the beginning with a hoover, but you will not get very far inside the ventilation duct. A professional can clean it properly for you with, among others, a rotating brush.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have an MEV or MVHR unit?
As mentioned before, your ventilation system constantly exhausts used air and ensures that fresh air is brought in. With an MEV this supply takes place in a natural way, through grilles and gaps. The removal of air happens mechanically. Valves are often only in the kitchen and toilet and bathroom and the fan is about as big as a computer monitor.

With an MVHR, both the extraction and the supply of air are done mechanically, there is a balance in this. This is also called balance ventilation. The air is heated by the MVHR. The valves are often found in several places in the house and the device is often about as big as a washing machine.

How long does a mechanical fan or MVHR unit last?
A mechanical fan or heat recovery system usually lasts 15 to 20 years, provided it is properly maintained.

Can I turn off my fan if the noise bothers me?
Do you tend to turn off the ventilation because of noise or other nuisance? Then have it checked by an installer. Proper cleaning of grilles and filters and catching up on overdue maintenance can remedy the complaints and improve the capacity of the ventilation system.

Do you have any other questions after reading this blog? Then feel free to contact our customer service. They will be happy to help you further.

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