Can I Wash MVHR Filters?
What are filters?
Filters come in many shapes and sizes, and forms too. In a nutshell, filters have the job of reducing unwanted elements from a particular ‘solution’. This ‘solution’ can be many things. Water, alcohol, oil, air, and so much more.
The process of filtering results in a purer version of what was being filtered, in the case of air, it is free from unwanted elements such as pollutants. Air can be filtered through the use of a MVHR unit.
If filters are not used, it becomes increasingly difficult to dilute what is intending to be filtered. This results in an impure solution, which can cause complications of varying degrees, depending on the medium that is being filtered
What is MVHR?
As the name suggests, MVHR units provide the function and benefits of ventilation, whilst also finding a way to recover heat that is lost during ventilation. They are available in single or multi-room units.
The advantages of heat recovery systems are the following:
- Holds all the benefits of an extractor, including the removal of stale air, humidity and smells.
- It helps to prevent the cultivation of mould through the removal of humidity.
- Temperature sensors ensure that additional heat is not being added to the atmosphere of the home if it is already hot.
- Heat recovery systems take a lot of the burden from you conducting a ventilation routine. This is ideal for a vulnerable person.
- Less of a need to use your central heating frequently as the heat generated through your house is recycled through the heat recovery unit.
The reduced use of heating as a result of the heat conservation granted by a heat recovery unit can help you save on energy bills..
Can I wash MVHR filters?
There are some MVHR units that have removable filters. However, depending on the guidance of the model you choose, washing a filter may not be an option. You will have to invest in replacements.
The corresponding filters for your model of MVHR system will be available to view in your instruction manual. It is important to follow the guidance set forth in there, regarding your filter.
Generally, some filters can be cleaned by water, some by applying a dry cloth, others need replacing. MVHR filters fall into one or a multiple of these categories.
If you wash the filter when you aren’t supposed to, you can risk damaging the filtering capabilities of the machine, if not the whole MVHR system itself. Which could set you back in terms of repairing it.
Why are filters required on MVHR?
Part of the function of MVHR systems is to keep air fresh and clean, and remove pollutants being extracted from both inside and outside. In order to facilitate this, a filter is required.
The pollutants encounter the filter whilst it travels through the air. The filter collects the pollutants before they can travel further. Naturally, over time, a build up of these elements will form across the filter. This will likely look like dust.
What happens if I don’t clean or replace the filter?
Neglecting to deal with the filter directly will result in your MVHR system becoming less effective, it can result in a reduction in airflow depending on the build up. In addition, pollutants may be able to enter, or remain in the property with ease.
Can MVHR make air too dry?
Not at all, MVHR serves to extract humidity from the air it processes. But not all of it, but doesn’t that make MVHR ineffective? Not exactly. So why does MVHR remove excess humidity rather than all the humidity possible?
As people, we need a level of moisture within the air we breathe every day, without it you can feel a variety of effects. These differences are more pronounced when you breathe through your mouth on a hot day vs on a cold day.
Colder days mean that air is generally less humid, so you can feel effects similar to no humidity in the air. If you breathe from your mouth constantly in the cold, here are some of the effects you could eventually experience.
- Respiratory ailments such as asthma can be influenced by dry air.
- Sore throats / inflammation can be directly attributed to air that is too dry and cold.
- Irritation in the eyes as a result of the eye’s tear film being affected by the dry air.
- Dry skin.
MVHR systems removes the excess humidity that can develop into condensation and eventually mould. They do this without compromising the optimal humidity that we need to breathe.
Breathing through the nose vs the mouth
It can be argued that nasal breathing is the optimum way to breath, but why is this? Essentially, your sinus system essentially does the job of a MVHR unit.
Your nose extracts the air, your sinuses help to filter the air, and make the temperature optimal for your body to use by the time it reaches your lungs.
This is why cold temperatures can lead to sore throats more often. Due to mouth breathing, the air bypasses the aforementioned processes, which can in turn disrupt your throat.
This isn’t to say you should never breathe through your mouth, but nasal breathing in dry and cold environments could be quite helpful.
Multi and single room MVHR
Multi-room MVHR units provide ventilation, and heat recovery to multiple rooms, which is ideal for larger, particularly older houses. Newer homes are build with insulation in mind, so although they can be used in newer homes, they are sometimes not entirely needed.
Single room systems are more suited for rooms that you know are a problem when it comes to ventilation, heat recovery and/or humidity. They can be installed in bedrooms, utility rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.
What is the difference between a MVHR unit, and air conditioning?
Air conditioning does not require ventilation to operate, air conditioning simply extracts the air within its vicinity, and expels it after running it through a heating or cooling mechanism depending on your needs.
On the other hand, MVHR units require ventilation in order to work, as they extract indoor air, to the outside whilst keeping the heat from the indoor air. At the same time, the unit also obtains fresh outdoor air and mixes it with the heat that was extracted from the indoor air.
This simultaneous process allows for fresh air without a compromise in temperature, in addition to preventing the environment required for mould to live. In terms of which is the best? MVHR wins, purely due to its multiple functions and benefits provided.
Order a MVHR unit
We at I-Sells endeavour to ensure our customers have all the information they require before investing in our mould solutions. Be sure to visit our blog page to learn about the vast array of factors and issues surrounding ventilation, mould, condensation, and much more.
We hope to have answered the question ‘Can I wash MVHR filters?’
We understand you may have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us for more information about whatever you need our help with. If you’d like to send us an email, click here. For other contact options, see below:
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