In this expert article we talk you through the dos and don'ts of installing a heat recovery ventilation system yourself. Many of these tips can, of course, also be used when connecting other, similar, fans.
Can I install a heat recovery system?
Yes, this is possible, but requires some experience. We advise you to read the manual carefully and, if you have any questions, let us know in advance. We are happy to provide you with more information below.
Installation position of a heat recovery system
Depending on the type of heat recovery, you can install it in four positions:
- Horizontally against the wall
- Vertically against the wall
- Lying on the floor
- Against the ceiling
The position horizontally against the wall is the most common mounting position of a heat recovery system. The other installation positions are mainly used where there is little (installation) space. If you have any doubts, the manual will always state the possible positions of the heat recovery system in question.
During installation, always bear in mind that the filters of the heat recovery system need to be replaced, but you can also remove the front plate/lid for repair or cleaning.
Connections directly to the heat recovery system
Each heat recovery fan has two inward and two outward connections. However, this connection may differ in terms of installation on the heat recovery system. Below are some general terms:
Location of connections for different versions
High-rise buildings, all connections at the top
Low-rise buildings, connections at the bottom and top
Left version, residential connections on the left*
Right version, residential connections on the right*
Side connections, connections on the side, often combined with the top*
(*depending on the type this may differ slightly)
Home connections - from heat recovery system to duct
Supply, feed (blowing in) of fresh air into a living space
Returning, extracting the polluted air in wet rooms, possibly also in other rooms
External connections - from heat recovery system to roof gland
Suction, sucking in fresh air from outside to the heat recovery system
Discharging, blowing out polluted air from the heat recovery system to the outside
Fig. 1.1 examples of different connections to a heat recovery system.
Determine in advance which type of heat recovery system and which connections best suit your situation. There are also heat recovery systems that are particularly suitable for the ceiling or can be installed vertically. Do you need help? Contact us.
Thermal or acoustic hose
The big difference between the two hoses is that with an acoustic hose there are very small holes in the inner foil. These holes provide a strong sound-absorbing effect. This hose can therefore only be used for connections of the fan to the home. The thermal hose or insulated duct always goes from the fan to the roof or facade and is connected to the air outlet and suction from outside. The reason is to prevent condensation from forming on the outside of the duct.
Use (thermally) insulated ducts for outside use, a condition of the manufacturer in connection with the warranty. This is often mentioned in the small print of the installation manual.
Silencing noise - Heat recovery system sound absorbers
A heat recovery system is always connected to the home with sound absorbers. These are rigid or flexible sound absorbers. If a sound absorber has to be longer than 1.2 metres, an acoustic hose is also an option. The disadvantage of this hose is that, if you have your ducts cleaned in the future, the hose will not survive it.
Difference between rigid and flexible sound absorber
The two major differences are the material and the damping. The rigid sound absorber attenuates considerably more. This sound absorber is easy to clean and offers less resistance than a flexible sound absorber, but is not pliable. The flexible sound absorber allows you to bend more, ideal for smaller spaces, slightly cheaper to buy, more resistance and not easy to clean.
Cross-talk sound attenuators
Cross-talk sound attenuators, are dampers that you place directly in the duct in front of the valve. If more than one valve is connected to one channel, you will largely prevent crosstalk between room A and room B. These dampers can be used as an addition if necessary. Cross-talk sound attenuators alone are not enough.
Also take a look at the blog about sound
The dilution factor is a calculation that indicates the safe installation distance between the two roof ducts. The calculation depends on the type of roof or facade, the number of m3/h and the location of the desired inlet and outlet. Make sure that you always take this into account – if you don't, this can lead to dangerous situations. In the worst case scenario, you suck the polluted air back in.
Controls of the heat recovery system
A heat recovery system is available in several versions. Each version can be operated differently or have different functionalities. You can operate most (new) systems wirelessly. There are already systems on the market with a built-in moisture sensor and systems that can work autonomously (e.g. on time, moisture and CO2) with the possibility of further adjustment via the app.
Installation calculations, or advice?
Do you want to be sure but still keep everything in your own hands? Are you going to undertake a renovation or refurbishment? Take a look at the heat recovery do-it-yourself advice.
View all heat recovery ventilation systems here
Conclusion and tips
- A heat recovery system can be placed and connected with some knowledge
- Use the current connections and pay close attention to the dimensions of the location
- Sound absorbers are easy to fit and make a big difference
- For your safety, the power should be switched off when connected electrically
- Provide the correct type of ventilation hose or duct or duct for outward connections
- Observe the condensation drain
Four general assembly and installation tips when installing a fan
When installing a new fan (no replacement), first assess whether there is sufficient space to install a fan. Take into account the length, width, height and depth of the fan, as well as any pipe and electrical connections and, in the case of heat recovery, the condensation drain.
When replacing a product, it is important to know in advance what the properties of the old product to be replaced are. Why? Because after purchase you will always have a product that fits your needs. For example: connection diameters, length, width, height and depth, but also the electrical connection (perilex, earthed or euro plug).
3. Manuals and assembly videos
Most manufacturers send a (installation) manual with the product. However, we recommend that you read the installation manual before purchasing in order to answer any questions or to prepare for installation. Then use our data enrichment. We have added (installation) manuals and/or brochures to 99% of all fans. These are .pdf files and can be downloaded directly from our website. These files can be found on the product pages under the heading "documents". If you prefer to watch a product video, please click here.
Last but not least, safety is the most important issue during installation. Installing a fan, with safe products, in a safe environment. Here are the three most important points:
• Before making any electrical connections, switch off the power/electricity
• Do you need to install the fan at height? Use scaffolding or sturdy stairs, always make sure to use a flat, non-slippery surface
• Work with certified/well-working tools
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