Date: 2013

Yes – the unit is running well….beautifully quiet!

We chose the fresh-r because although this is not a passive house, we did want to make it as efficient as we could, which meant some kind of mechanical ventilation, especially in the colder months. In summer we are outside a lot and enjoy bird song and so on, although in hot weather last summer, it was great to be able to keep cool by keeping the windows closed.

Ours is a self build project, the first part of which was to convert a barn into self-contained accommodation and the second part is a new build house . The barn conversion was a great learning opportunity for us to try out products and techniques and take some calculated risks, that would then inform decisions we made for the new build. The fresh-r was one of those ‘trials’.

I looked at all kinds of ventilation systems, and here a MVHR seemed appropriate, but there were off-putting issues; cost, complicated ducting, conflicting advice, maintenance, running costs, drafts down your neck if you sit under an inlet, noise…..I also found a research article that said we here in the UK (unlike the Germans and Dutch) are not good at maintaining things regularly and  40% of MVHR systems they looked at weren’t actually working properly – I imagined we would probably fall in to this category!

While researching online I came across the ‘Breathing Window’…..perhaps there was the answer. I talked to experts and it was clear we would have to be patient and prepared to take a bit of a risk, since it was still being developed – however we were so impressed with the theory, that it seemed a risk worth taking, especially given that we could try it out in the barn, before committing to designing it in to the new house.

We are now very pleased with the fresh-r and intend to fit 2 into our new build.