Lo-carbon fans point the way
In a bid to lower carbon emissions Government regulation is changing the face of ventilation technology. Lee Nurse, Chairman of the TEHVA Ventilation Committee and Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia, outlines the new opportunities that energy efficient fans pose for electrical distributors.
For electrical distributors 2010 will be a challenging but rewarding year, as a raft of Government legislation will drive the energy efficiency agenda for housing. The biggest change will be the publication of the next revision of the building regulations which will raise the bar in energy saving across the board.
Meanwhile, 2010 means for the first time private housebuilders will need to meet Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes on their developments. For publicly funded housebuilders the challenge in 2010 is to meet Code Level 4 as they pave the way towards zero carbon homes. In the meantime Local Authorities need to reduce the carbon emissions of their housing stock to meet carbon targets will be key, while the Government is also pushing private householders to refurbish their homes with energy efficient solutions.
Therefore the challenge for electrical distributors will be ensuring they have exactly the right energy efficient solution for every customer and they keep up-todate with the changing product trends. For ventilation this means stocking products ranging from an intermittent 100mm fan to centralised mechanical heat recovery ventilation. Luckily, Vent- Axia has become the first manufacturer to launch a complete range of low energy DC residential fans. Following an expansion to their Lo-Carbon series of energy efficient ventilation products electrical distributors can be confident Vent-Axia will supply exactly the product they need to answer the needs of their customers.
With homes accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, constructing sustainable homes while improving the efficiency of existing houses are both crucial to meeting the Government’s carbon reduction targets. As the UK drives towards low to zero carbon homes and buildings become more air tight, the energy penalty of ventilation within the Code for Sustainable Homes calculations becomes key for housebuilders. Never before has it been as important for developers to balance the requirements of ventilation and energy efficiency. But, with the Code allowing housebuilders to adopt many design approaches to achieve a sustainable home it is important for them to obtain expert advice on how to achieve the best outcomes.
Within the Code ventilation can be key to gaining crucial points by reducing the Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) through the use of SAP Appendix Q listed products. Valuable additional credits can also be scored through the use of controlled ventilation in bathrooms with a drying line used as an internal drying space for clothes. Meanwhile, as mandatory Code levels continue to rise, buildings will become increasingly airtight boosting the adoption of whole house Mechanical Extract Ventilation systems (MEV and dMEV) and Mechanical Extract Ventilation systems with Heat Recovery (MVHR).
Make the right choice
As experts in low carbon ventilation, Vent-Axia can help electrical distributors ensure housebuilders make the right ventilation choices for their projects. Vent- Axia also simplifies the selection process for distributors by providing a comprehensive range of energy efficiency products under one banner – the Lo- Carbon series. Offering up to 90 per cent energy savings, the Lo-Carbon range is an ideal choice for sustainable house building and complying with Code Levels. However, it also offers the ideal solutions for retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficient ventilation solutions. Simply replacing old inefficient fans with new fans efficiently powered by DC motors can have a huge impact on reducing carbon emissions.
For instance, one easy way for Local Authorities to make large sweeping cuts to their carbon emissions is to change AC fans to DC technology. Traditionally, ventilation systems have been driven by AC motors however over the last few years, DC motor technology has advanced, revolutionising the industry by allowing energy efficient DC motors to power the fans. These energy efficient motors can save up to 90 per cent in energy consumption in comparison to AC motors. A large reduction when you consider a Local Authority’s whole housing stock. DC fans save energy and increase the longevity of the products, whilst reducing lifetime costs, thereby adding value. DC motors generate lower noise and less heat than conventional AC motors.
In addition, energy saving DC products within the Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon philosophy highlight how much carbon is emitted over a year, therefore measuring the individual carbon footprint. Not only can power consumption be reduced by up to 90 per cent, the carbon footprint can be reduced by up to 47kg per annum. This allows Local Authorities to easily weigh up the carbon advantages of upgrading their ventilation systems and how this will help them meet their carbon targets.
Meanwhile, distributors should be aware that as well as DC fans saving carbon there is now a breakthrough in unitary fan technology ideal for retrofitting, which also keeps the maintenance requirements firmly in mind and so is ideal for social housing. Following a one fan fits all ethos, fans such as Vent-Axia’s Lo- Carbon Quadra, are equally at home in kitchens, bathrooms, toilets or utility rooms, providing a guaranteed installed performance that comfortably meets the requirements of Building Regulations Part F for intermittent fans (System 1) and continuous mechanical extract ventilation (System 3). As one fan fits a variety of rooms the Quadra also helps reduce stocking pressures for the wholesaler, thus streamlining the supply chain.
The good news is that DC technology is not only the energy efficient option, but also now the affordable option. Having undergone significant investment in its UK manufacturing base Vent-Axia can now provide its pioneering DC technology at a new lower price point making its Lo-Carbon range an attractive option for your customers.
With the Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon range we hope to address the energy and environmental issues facing your customers and provide the affordable products they need to lower carbon and meet legislation.