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Mechanical Extract Ventilation

Mechanical Extract Ventilation
Posted on 20-5-2021 by Nienke Vinkenvleugel

Mechanical ventilation systems are ideal for creating a healthy living environment. The mechanical ventilation boxes are easy to use, but it is important to know how they work and what you need to pay extra attention to.

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What is mechanical extract ventilation?

Houses are being ventilated better and better, which reduces natural ventilation through seams and cracks. For this reason, more and more houses have a mechanical extract ventilation system (MEV-unit). A mechanical ventilation system is a central extraction in your house. By means of various fans and connected ventilation channels, polluted air is extracted at certain points in your house. These residential fans, which are equipped with ventilation grilles, are often located in the bathroom and / or kitchen.

How does mechanical ventilation work?

With mechanical ventilation, a continuously running ventilation motor removes polluted air via various valves in, for example, the kitchen or bathroom. The ventilation unit has two or three positions. With the help of a switch you determine how much air is extracted per minute.

How do you use mechanical ventilation well?

When you use mechanical ventilation well, it makes sure there is enough fresh air in the house. To achieve this it is necessary that the fresh air enters the house and that the air can flow through the house well. Always leave the ventilation grilles in the windows open and make sure that air can always move through the doors.

In some rooms, extra attention is needed for good ventilation. Here are the most important points:

  • Cooking releases a lot of moisture and fine dust. Make sure you always cook with your extractor fan on at the highest setting.
  • After showering, there is a lot of moisture in the bathroom. When showering, turn the ventilation to the highest setting or get a bathroom fan or ventilation system with a moisture sensor. It is tempting to open a window after showering or bathing, but this is not recommended. An open window will cause the bathroom to cool down a lot, especially in winter, which will result in condensation and mould. Also the ventilation in the rest of the house will be less good. If you do want to open a window, do so for a maximum of 30 minutes.

To be sure of healthy air in your home, we recommend using a CO2 meter. View the EnviSense CO2 monitor here.

The ventilation system has 2 or 3 settings. Which one do you use?

  • In case of a 3-stage ventilation system: set the mechanical ventilation to stage 1 when you are not at home, stage 2 when you are at home (also at night) and stage 3 when you are cooking, showering, smoking indoors, drying laundry indoors or if you have guests.
  • In case of a 2-speed ventilation system: set the ventilation system standard on speed 1 (when you are at home or away, and also at night) and on speed 2 during cooking, showering, when you smoke inside, when the laundry is drying inside or when if you have company coming over.

How much power does mechanical ventilation use?

Good (mechanical) ventilation is important for your health and for the house, but it does cost energy. Look here for our tips to make mechanical ventilation more energy efficient. Here you can also find an example calculation of your yearly energy costs!

Can and may I turn off my mechanical ventilation?

Mechanical ventilation ensures, among other things, that the air humidity in the house is correct. When this system is turned off for a longer period of time, the house becomes more humid. Besides the fact that this is a danger to your health, there is also a greater risk of mould forming in your house.

Turn off your mechanical ventilation only in the event of a disaster (when the government advises you to close all windows and doors) or when maintenance is being carried out. Is this the case? Pull the plug of the ventilation unit out of the wall socket or flip the switch in the meter cupboard.

Which mechanical ventilation do I need?

Choosing a (new) mechanical ventilation unit is not always easy. There are a number of points to consider when buying an MV box. For example, it is important how many extraction points you have in the house, how you want to operate the mechanical ventilator and how much space you need for a ventilation box. Because there is so much choice in mechanical fans, we have made a top 10 of the best and most sold fans.

Orcon MVS 15RH with built-in humidity sensor 520m³/h
Itho Daalderop CVE-S eco fan ventilator box RFT SE 325m³/h + humidity sensor  03-00398
DucoBox Silent 400 m3/h
Vasco C400 Basic RF 400m³/h with humidity sensor

How often should you clean mechanical ventilation?

It is important for your health that a mechanical ventilation system is well maintained. This way the system keeps on doing its job and the air in your house is refreshed properly. Some parts of the mechanical ventilation system can be cleaned by yourself, for other maintenance points you need to sign a maintenance contract.

You can clean the grilles and the air valves yourself. You should preferably do this once a month, but at least every six months. Clean the loose parts with soapy water and vacuum the interior with a hoover. Note: clean the valves one by one and replace them immediately. This way you can be sure that you do not change the valves.

A maintenance contract ensures timely inspection of the system and guarantees the air quality in the house. During a maintenance of mechanical ventilation, the following activities are carried out:

  • Cleaning the fan (every 2 years)
  • Cleaning the air valves and ventilation channels (every 8 years)
  • Inspecting the system (every 4 years)

Read this blog for more cleaning tips!

Replacing mechanical ventilation

The most common reason to replace your mechanical ventilation is that the fan makes noise. When the lifespan of a fan is over (on average about 15 years), it becomes unbalanced and the device becomes noisy. In most cases this means that the ventilation system no longer works properly, which means that the energy consumption is also higher than normal.

Advantages of replacing your ventilation box:

  • Direct energy savings
  • A healthier indoor climate
  • Paid back within a few years
  • Reduction of noise pollution

What does mechanical ventilation cost?

Mechanical ventilators are available in various price categories. When you choose a CO2-controlled system, the costs will obviously be higher. You can buy a mechanical ventilation unit from as little as £166. This does not include the cost of the ventilation pipes. Are you looking for a whisper-quiet mechanical ventilation system?The quietest mechanical ventilation is available from Orcon.

Itho Daalderop CVE-S eco fan ventilator box RFT SE 325m³/h + humidity sensor  03-00398
Orcon MVS 15RH with built-in humidity sensor 520m³/h
DucoBox Silent 400 m3/h
Vasco C400 Basic RF 400m³/h with humidity sensor

Do you have noise nuisance due to your mechanical ventilation, but is it still fairly new and do you not yet want to install a new ventilation box? Then take a look at our silencers. Do you still have an AC ventilator? Replace it with a direct current fan, which is quieter and more economical.

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