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What is a heat recovery system and how does it work?

Heat recovery is a great way of using wasteful heat to create more energy. Not only is this beneficial in terms of energy efficiency, but filtered air from a heat recovery system can improve the air quality of the given environment. So, what is a heat recovery system and how does a heat recovery system work? Continue reading this insightful article from Glaston to find out everything you need to know.

What is a heat recovery system?

A heat recovery system is an energy recovery system that uses an air-to-air heat exchanger that recovers wasted heat to supply fresh, highly-filtered air to an indoor environment. Heat recovery systems work independently of a standard heating system and, because of their ability to recover wasted heat from within a building, they provide great savings on energy bills.

A heat ventilation recovery system can eliminate condensation and mould from within a building by constantly ventilating the area. This can help to reduce the risk of structural and cosmetic damage that can be caused by rising damp and mould. 

Highly-efficient heat recovery systems can recover up to 90% of the heat that’s being lost through extraction, creating great energy and cost savings.
In many industries and applications, an energy audit can be conducted to ensure peak efficiency in terms of energy usage.

How does a heat recovery system work?

So, we know what they are but how does a heat recovery system work? A heat recovery system is usually found within the roof space of a building and, rather than extracting air and replacing it with air from outside the building, the system actually draws the heat from the extracted air and passes it to the air that’s being filtered in from outside.

There is no cross-contamination of both air sources, however. Extracted and supplied air do not flow within the same pipes. The heat recovery system is fairly simple in its build too. It is typically  connected to room air valves via a network of ducts throughout the building.

It works independently from the building’s standard heating system. In each room, there are ventilation valves with filters that supply air in and out of each room that all lead to the heat recovery unit. The heat recovery system moves stale air through the pipes while drawing in cold air from outside the building. These two sources flow into the heat recovery system and are then pushed back into the building once the stale air’s heat has been extracted.

The ER 90-900 heat recovery unit from Atlas CopCo is excellent at recovering heat. It turns water-cooled, oil-free air ZR compressor into an energy source for hot water.

What are the benefits of a heat recovery system?

There are many benefits to using a heat recovery system in your building, and they are:

  • Retains heat that is normally lost
  • Minimises heating loss
  • Helps with energy efficiency
  • Helps with heating bills and energy costs
  • Provides filtered air
  • Helps with overheating problems
  • Eliminates excess moisture accumulation
  • Improves your health

A heat recovery system has many benefits, but the most obvious one is the savings on energy bills. Keeping a building warm during winter is expensive, especially in the current economic climate. So using a heat recovery system to reduce heat wastage is essential to make savings.

Opening a window or door allows warm air to leave the building and enter the atmosphere. With a heat recovery system, there is a constant supply of warm, fresh air circulating throughout the building.

For businesses and industries, heat recovery helps make the workplace a far more efficient place. In offices or working buildings, heat recovery systems keep workers cool during the summer months and warmer in the winter without the need to open windows or use heaters. They achieve this thanks to smart running, which means the system recognises which rooms require more heat and vice versa.

Contact Glaston

If you’d like to find out more about heat recovery systems, air compressor systems, and the types of services we offer at Glaston, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Get in touch at 01695 51010, email us at, or fill in the contact form on our website.

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