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Choosing the best HRV for your home

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Once you know what an HRV is, you might decide that it’s time to install one in your house. Yet, you face another challenge: which heat recovery ventilator is best for your home? Don’t worry anymore – in this article, we will explain how to choose an HRV tailored to your needs. So don’t stop – read on.

How do I choose a heat recovery ventilation system?

When selecting the best device for your household, you need to focus on a couple of factors. These include:

  • Efficiency
  • Installation method
  • Energy consumption
  • Type of heat exchanger

The features above are crucial to determine what you need for your house. Below, we will explain them in more detail. So, how do you choose the best heat recovery ventilation system?


The efficiency of your HRV should depend on the number of people in your household as well as the number of rooms. There is no legal requirement for the HRV’s efficiency, however, the Approved Document F provides some recommendations:

Whole buildings: 13-29 l/s (depending on the number of bedrooms)

Kitchen: 13-60 l/s
Bathroom + WC: 8-15 l/s

WC only: 6 l/s

There are also the standards provided by the EU:

Whole buildings: 0,35-0,49 l/(s.m2)

Living room: 0,6-1,4 l/(s.m2)

Bedroom: 0,6-1,4 l/(s.m2)

Kitchen: 14-28 l/s
Bathroom + WC: 10-20 l/s

WC only: 7-14 l/s

If the device is not efficient enough, it is completely useless – it cannot filter the whole air, so it has no effect on its quality. This is why it’s best to choose a heat recovery ventilation system that has a slightly higher power. It will have the reserve in case your demand increases, and since it won’t be working at 100% efficiency, it will consume less energy and won't produce so much noise.

Installation method

There are three main installation methods: ceiling, floor or wall mounted. The choice will depend purely on the amount of space that you have and the type of building that you live in. For example, if you want to save on space, the ceiling suspended kit will be for you. If you live in an old building, the wall method might be better. Discuss this matter with your technicians to choose the best option.

Energy consumption

The aim of a HRV is to provide clean air for a reasonable price. Thus, you need to pay attention to the energy efficiency label on your future device. The benefits of using a heat recovery ventilator will only be clear if you optimize your system with energy consumption in mind. So choose the most energy-serving HRV in your ventilation efficiency range.

Type of the heat exchanger

There are three main types of heat exchangers, each with its own pros and cons.

Cross-flow and counter-flow heat exchanger

Pros: inexpensive, simple

Cons: no moisture recovery, low heat recovery rates, might freeze below 0℃

Rotary heat exchanger

Pros: works great in colder climates, great moisture recovery

Cons: the heat recovery rates could be higher, increased rate of mixing air flows

Enthalpy counter-flow heat exchanger

Pros: overall good in both hot and cold climates

Cons: expensive

Final thoughts

How do you choose a heat recovery ventilation system? Based on its efficiency, energy consumption, installation method and type of heat exchangers. Take all these factors into consideration and you will pick the ideal HRV.

Did this article answer your question? Then you might also read: Why Use an HRV?

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