Renewable Energy

Heat recovery

Posted by Jeroen van Agt in Energy saving Add comments

A good way to save energy is using heat recovery. With a heat recovery system you can recover the heat which would normally be lost when taking a shower or ventilating your house. This can provide a large reduction on your energy consumption…


Heat recovery in ventilation systems.

A heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) recovers the heat from the outgoing stale air to pre-heat the incoming fresh air. The stale air will be transported outside, only the heat is recovered. Depending on the model, HRVs can recover up to 90 percent of the heat in the outgoing airstream. Even the heat produced by the ventilators themselves can be used in the heat recovery system.


House with heat-recovery ventilation system

In a balanced ventilation system (mechanical air supply and mechanical air removal) both supply and removal are in balance. In combination with a good air flow the balance ensures that an air tight house get enough ventilation. A balanced ventilation system works best in combination with a heat recovery ventilation system.

Heat recovery from shower water.

When take the shower a lot of heat is lost when warm water leaves the drain. A large part of this heat can be recovered to pre-heat the cold fresh water supply of the shower. A shower heat recovery system can provide this.

The savings for a shower heat recovery system can be substantial. A modern house (in the Netherlands) uses 1/3 of it natural gas (heating) for showering. The heat in the warm water going through the drain can be recovered for 40 – 70 percent.

A shower heat recovery system

Annually an average household (in the Netherlands) can save between 100-175 m3 of natural gas using a shower heat recovery system. A shower heat recovery system can be combined with a solar hot water system. The solar hot water system works best in the summer, the shower heat recovery system works best in the winter.

Sources (Dutch)

One Response to “Heat recovery”

  1. Jeanne Eisenhut Says:

    I’d like to see this article expanded in even more ways that heat can be “recycled”, so to speak, from every day tasks, such as washing dishes and laundry. Excellent article!

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