How Can a Heat Recovery System Help Your Business?

How Can a Heat Recovery System Help Your Business?

30 December 2022

Heat recovery systems are a type of ventilation system that recycles stale, warm air to provide more energy efficiency.

It can also help to reduce costs and provide a healthier environment.

But is a heat recovery system right for you?


What does heat recovery ventilation do?

Also known as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR), this is a type of ventilation system that removes stale air and provides clean, fresh air.

It’s a way of using the warm air (recovering heat) in the building instead of losing it which makes it a green technology and energy efficient.


How does mechanical ventilation with heat recovery work?

A heat recovery system expels the warm, stale air and replaces it with heated fresh air.

It does this by having ventilation ducts in each room that leads to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger usually is placed at the top of the building in a roof space.

The ducts draw the heat in and send it to the heat exchanger. It also draws in cold air from outside through other ducts and sends it to the heat exchanger. They then flow past each without touching and the warm air heats the cold air which is then fed into rooms at a comfortable temperature.

It works independently of your normal heating system and can extract up to 90% of heat from the stale air.

At Atmostherm, we recently used the Puma Medivent in a vets and a private surgery. This system uses thin sheets of metal to separate the two streams of air, so they don’t mix. The temperature difference of the two streams mean heat is transferred through the metal walls of the heat exchanger into the cold stream to heat it up.


How much does a heat recovery system cost?

The average cost for the installation of a heat recovery system is around £6,450.

An installation for a commercial premises is generally around £10,000 for the heat recovery unit price and around £20-£30 per metre squared for the heat recovery ducting installation.

While these are average prices, at Atmostherm we design a system specifically for you and your needs to make it as affordable as possible and save you money in the long-term.


Which heat recovery ventilation is best?

There are several considerations you must think off when deciding which heat recovery ventilation system to use.


Meets your needs

You need to ensure the heat recovery unit efficiency meets your needs. For this you will need to know roughly how many people are in the building, how many rooms, and the airflow per inhabitant.

You don’t need to try and work out the airflow yourself as your ventilation specialist will help you with this.

A heat recovery ventilation unit can be used in a single room or a whole building depending on your needs.



Heat recovery air handling units mean the installation of the heat exchanger and ducts, so you must measure how much space you have to house this.


Energy efficiency

Check the energy efficiency of each system. Most models are A rated but some are A plus.

The average heat recovery efficiency is around 83% which meets eco-design requirements.

It could be possible to achieve nearly zero energy building status with a heat recovery unit.



If your business is a hotel or similar, the system needs to be quiet to ensure it doesn’t disturb your guests.


Type of heat exchanger

There are several types of heat exchanger such as shell and tube or plate heat exchangers.

Some are better for food and sanitary premises, and some are more corrosive than others. Again, your ventilation specialist will be able to advise you which one is best for you.

How long does it take to install a heat recovery system?

It should take two to three days in total to install your mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system, meaning it should cause minimal disruption.


Pros of a heat recovery system

Reduces infections

The heat recovery systems will include filters which removes pollutants when air passes through them. This provides better air quality to your premises which can reduce carbon dioxide levels and increase staff productivity.

This is also helpful to reduce allergic reactions or to reduce the spread of infections in your home or workplace.


Saves energy

It can take around 15 weeks to be compensated for the extra electricity consumption that the heat recovery fans use. But heat recovery can retain up to three quarters of the heat normally lost. This means you should be fully compensated for these with energy savings of 561kWh.

British environmental auditor Nicola Terry predicts a heat recovery ventilation system can cut the number of air changers per hour by about 50%, reducing energy lost by about 65%.


Reduces moisture

The heat recovery system, like other ventilation systems, can remove moisture from the air.

This helps to prevent damp and mould to protect your building, especially older buildings, and reduces the chance of lung infections.


Comfortable environment

With a digital control panel, you can increase or decrease the airflow to control the temperature.


Cons of a heat recovery system

Expensive to install

The initial investment of the unit and installation is expensive, and it takes some time before you see any recuperation of those costs.



The filters which extract pollutants from the air, need cleaned regularly. They will also need replaced at least every 12 months.

The cost of this expense needs to be included when deciding if a heat recovery system is cost efficient for you.


Who should install a heat recovery system?

You must ensure you employ professionals who have experience of installing heat recovery systems.

If there is any oversizing, it can compromise the efficiency of the system.

Atmostherm provide a high-quality design, install, and repair service to our customers.

As experienced specialists we ensure all our appliances meet UK legislation laws such as Health and Safety Guidance and the British Occupational Hygiene Society.

To get more information on heat recovery systems, contact us today.