Easy Guide to Home Ventilation Solutions for Airtight Homes in the UK

min read time
2024-06-12 09:20:59

Welcome to the world of home ventilation! If you're living in or building an airtight home in the UK, ensuring good ventilation is super important to keep your indoor air fresh and healthy. 




Today in the next part of our weekly industry insight series Tony Croke, Product Manager for Indoor Climate Solutions in Wavin UK & Ireland, dives into some easy-to-understand ventilation solutions, including Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) and Mechanical Extract Ventilation (DMEV) which meet the requirements of Part F in the UK.


Why Ventilation Matters:

In airtight homes, where there's less natural airflow, moisture, smells, and even pollutants can get trapped inside. This can lead to problems like mould, dampness, and poor air quality, which isn't great for your health or comfort.

Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR):

Think of MVHR as your home's breathing system. It brings in fresh air from outside while removing stale air from inside.

The clever part? It also recovers heat from the stale air before it leaves, warming up the fresh air coming in. So, you save energy and money on your heating bills and keeps your home cozy.

MVHR is like having a constant flow of fresh air without having to open windows. It's great for airtight homes because it ensures good ventilation all the time.

The added benefit of MVHR is that it also filters your air, which is fantastic for removing pollen and traffic fumes which can be a huge relief if you have allergies, as well as improving general health and well being.


Decentralised Mechanical Extract Ventilation (DMEV):

DMEV are super quiet and efficient extract fans that are positioned in your kitchen toilets and bathrooms (wet rooms). They run all the time to provide a background ventilation air extract and boosted airflow when they sense things like moisture in the air or occupancy detection with PIR sensors and light switch activation to clear out the pollution.

These are perfect for rooms like bathrooms and kitchens where things can get steamy or smelly. DMEV helps keep these spaces fresh with very low running costs. They do not need much if any ducting and are perfect for refurbishment. The downside for DMEV is that they do not recover any of the heat they remove from the room as they do their job extracting the required airflow. This can add up. Window vents are also needed for DMEV as the air they remove needs to be replaced; so don’t close the window vents!

Meeting Part F Requirements:

Part F of the UK building regulations sets the standards for ventilation in homes. To meet these requirements with MVHR and DMEV:

Make sure your ventilation system provides enough fresh air for all rooms, especially kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms.

Have a ventilation solution created which indicates regulation air flow for each room once you have decided on the type of ventilation solution.

Check that airflow is distributed evenly throughout your home to avoid any stuffy spots.

Look for energy-efficient options to save on heating bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

What Beginners Should Know:

If you're not sure where to start, consider consulting with ventilation experts or talking to your builder about your options. Ventilation system design is more important than is seems, as a poorly designed system will allow your home to accumulate toxic gasses and moisture which is generated by carpets, furniture, cooking, washing and even cleaning as well as the toxic gasses as we breath out.

All ventilation systems need to have their extract performance measured to achieve the part F regulations and you will need a ventilation expert with test equipment to confirm they are working correctly.

Regular maintenance of an installed system is key to keeping your ventilation running smoothly. Make sure to clean filters, clean ducts and extract grilles annually and check for any issues regularly.


Good ventilation is essential for keeping your airtight home healthy and comfortable. With solutions like MVHR and DMEV, you can meet the requirements of Part F in the UK while ensuring fresh, clean air inside your home all year round.