Underhill HouseContemporary Living Room, Gloucestershire
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Bring in some fresh airA clever way to circulate fresh air around your well-insulated home is to install a heat-recovery ventilation, or HRV, system.In this low-energy Cotswolds home, the triple-glazed windows ensure the property is airtight, but the air inside is kept fresh with an HRV system. Stale and damp air are removed and replaced with filtered clean air with no heat loss. “It creates a very fresh, clean atmosphere inside the house,” says owner and designer Chris Seymour-Smith of Seymour-Smith Architects. “The first year we lived here, it was -15C outside, and there was snow right up to the house, but even then, inside it was a comfortable 19C.”See more of this Cotswolds home
Bring in heat recovery ventilationVentilation is necessary, as it prevents condensation and also brings in much-needed fresh air. Heat recovery ventilation, or a ‘whole house ventilation system’, as it’s often called, is an efficient and clever system that should work without having to open a window or door, which would remove your warm air. With this system, the fresh but cold air is heated by the outgoing warm air it replaces. This may not directly ‘heat’ your home, but it reduces the amount of conventional heating you need. There are various systems on the market, and the main unit can be installed either in your loft space or in a wall cabinet, usually in the kitchen.To install a heat recovery system in your existing house, you will need a location for a half-boiler-sized unit on an external wall, or close by, and space for ducts from and to each of your rooms on all levels. While it’s certainly possible to retrofit such a system in an existing house, you need your installer to place ventilation grilles in each of the rooms, so you’d mostly likely have to decorate afterwards.
Triple-glazed windows make the property airtight. Air is filtered through a heat recovery ventilation system, which removes stale air and any damp air from the kitchen and bathrooms, and replaces it with filtered clean air with no loss of heat. ‘It creates a very fresh, clean atmosphere inside the house,’ says Chris. ‘It’s ideal for anyone with allergies.’ The temperature generally stays at a constant 20-21C and there are no draughts. ‘The first year we lived here it was -15C outside, and there was snow right up to the house, but even then, inside it was a comfortable 19C,’ he says. The triple glazing means the house is also incredibly quiet. ‘We live quite close to RAF Brize Norton and get huge Hercules planes flying over,’ says Chris. ‘You can see them, but you can’t hear them!’