Indoor air pollution is a serious environmental risk to public health, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems play a crucial role in providing a comfortable indoor environment for occupants of buildings. Centralized and decentralized heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems can help to combat indoor air pollution, ensuring that your indoor air quality is healthy and safe. Let’s explore the differences between these two types of systems.
Centralized HRV system
Centralized HRV systems use a single unit to provide ventilation for an entire building. This unit is typically located in a central location, such as the basement or a technical room, and uses ductwork to distribute fresh air throughout the building. Centralized systems are more commonly found in larger or multi-family dwellings, as they are in such case generally more cost-effective to install than decentralized systems.
Decentralized HRV system
Decentralized HRV systems, on the other hand, use multiple smaller units to provide ventilation for different areas of a building. These units are typically located within each individual living space or room, and they work in pairs. Decentralized systems are more commonly found in smaller buildings or in residential settings, and they offer greater flexibility and control over the ventilation of individual spaces.
Pros & cons
There are advantages and disadvantages to both centralized and decentralized HRV systems. Centralized systems tend to be more cost-effective to install, and they are easier to maintain and repair because all components are located in one place. However, centralized systems may be less efficient than decentralized systems because they can lose heat through the ductwork.
Decentralized systems, on the other hand, are generally more energy-efficient because they do not lose heat through ductwork. They also offer more flexibility and control over ventilation in individual spaces. However, decentralized systems are generally more expensive to install because they require multiple units and more complex installation.
Which one to choose?
Ultimately, the choice between a centralized or decentralized HRV system depends on the specific needs of the building and its occupants. Factors such as the size of the building, the number of occupants, and the layout of the space will all play a role in determining which type of system is most appropriate.
Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems are a type of mechanical ventilation that bring fresh air into a building while exhausting stale air to the outside. These systems are designed to maintain good indoor air quality by filtering the incoming air and removing pollutants, allergens, and other harmful substances.