Clean air in the apartment: choosing an air handling unit

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Projects of modern urban housing, country houses, offices, as a rule, provide for the installation of passive ventilation ducts. But passive ventilation is not always able to ensure the quality of indoor air. Are there any other solutions? The article considers some possible options.

Household air handling units. Short review

Attempts to get a fresh clean air environment in apartments, country houses, offices have been made for a long time, especially abroad. Various technical means are used – air cleaners, ionizers, air conditioners, air washers and others. For example, only about a dozen types of household air cleaners have been developed. The idea of ​​cleaning the atmosphere in the premises, of course, deserves attention, but the trouble is that the technological process of the noted devices does not actually provide for the use of fresh (outside) air. The operation of home air conditioning systems and internal air treatment devices is often accompanied by the formation of dangerous microorganisms, the appearance of persistent unpleasant odors. The reason is the lack of an influx from outside. Owners of household air conditioners and other air cleaning machines are probably familiar with a similar problem. So, perhaps, the organization of effective supply and exhaust ventilation at home, in an apartment, in an office can help solve the problem of high-quality air exchange.?

The market offers a ton of options. It should be noted that the proposals are positioned in two types of installations: there is only supply ventilation, and there is supply and exhaust ventilation. The first, is still somewhat defective, since it does not have the function of removing air from the room. However, for the conditions of a standard apartment, such installations are quite suitable, playing the role of a kind of ventilators with closed windows and doors. Household air handling units should be considered as a more serious option. This type of equipment becomes attractive for projects of large-area apartments, country houses, office premises.

Compact supply air

Household installations, which functionally provide only air flow, attract with their small overall dimensions, low price, and ease of installation. The disadvantage is uneven air exchange, limited coverage of the living space. The introduction of such a “inflow” into the apartment as a whole does not violate the overall interior. Technically well-executed, such devices generate negligible operating noise. The vast majority of household air inlets are equipped with efficient multi-stage filters. There are models with electric heating and heat recovery. The performance parameters of apartment air inlets are limited to a range of 15–220 m3/ h, which makes it possible to efficiently ventilate premises with an area of ​​5-50 m2. Manufacturers mainly supply to the market devices intended for wall mounting, but there are other options, for example, window, ceiling.

Household air handling units. Short review

Complete systems – supply air exhaust

Ventilation systems for supplying and exhausting air are technically more sophisticated devices, but overall and expensive. For equipping a standard apartment, the option is hardly practical, but for arranging a country house or office it is quite. What complete ventilation systems give to the user:

  • continuous circulation of fresh air in all rooms;
  • high quality air processing (filtration, heating, cooling, humidification);
  • function of heat recovery (obtaining efficiency up to 85%);
  • fully automated climate control process.

Air handling units, depending on the capacity (200-1000 m3/ h) and overall dimensions, have suspended, wall, floor structures. Installation, as a rule, is carried out in auxiliary premises.

Overview of systems from leading manufacturers

With all the desire to see Russian manufacturers in the forefront, foreigners still have to give the palm. Swedes, Germans, Italians, British show quality and dictate pricing policy. And yet, Russian sprouts appear:

  • the company “Tion” offers household ventilation systems for an apartment, devices for disinfection and air purification;
  • Breezart launches home ventilation units, air humidifiers, develops VAV systems, automatic control modules on the market;
  • VentMashine production makes good but expensive household ventilation equipment based on imported (German) components and technologies.

Household air handling units. Short review Tion O2

The first manufacturer is gaining popularity thanks to its own development of the Tion O2”, And in addition to this product produces a number of interesting devices and installations. The second company is attracted by VAV systems, calling this technology innovative in the field of household ventilation. In addition, it produces air handling units of the Breezart 550 (1000) series with an electric or water heater. The third company once became famous for the release of the silent air supply unit “PVU-120” and since then has made significant progress in the development of domestic supply systems. Many are probably familiar with the Selenga, Kolibri, V-Stat, and PVU-350 devices.

Household air handling units. Short review PVU-350

Foreign manufacturers have high quality goods. However, due to the high cost of supply and exhaust equipment, consumer demand in this segment remains low. What is interesting can be noted selectively:

  • Siegenia-Aubi equipment;
  • Silavent supply and exhaust equipment;
  • household systems from Mitsubishi;
  • air handling units of the Systemair trademark.

Household air handling units. Short review Aeropack SN

Germans from Siegenia-Aubi received recognition from Russian consumers due to the appearance of Aeropack ventilators on the market. A relatively inexpensive household supply is an option for an apartment ventilation system. It is positioned as a low-noise, high-performance household appliance with a universal filter system, but at the same time requires frequent replacement of consumables. Interesting ventilation is provided by the English manufacturer Silavent, offering Energex air handling units, compact apartment units (ENX100 series) and central ventilation units (WHS100 series) for all rooms of the house. The well-known Japanese company Mitsubishi also contributed to the development of domestic ventilation by launching the Lossnay compact air handling units (VL-100U-E) with a recuperator on the market. The price of the device, by the way, is not high. Swedish Systemair air handling units with heat recovery function (VR 250, 400, 700 EH / B series) are interesting solutions for large apartments, country houses, offices. Using such installations, you can create a complete ventilation system, but the task of masking ventilation ducts and the equipment itself appears..

Features of air handling units for home use

To heat the air, the air handling units can use not only electrical energy, but also the energy of the heating circuit. To cool the air, the evaporator of the air conditioner or the water heater (chiller system). It is possible to regulate air humidity by introducing a steam generator or duct humidifier into the system. Such structures are equipped with multifunctional controllers, which makes it possible to automatically control the check valves of ventilation ducts, regulators of the coolant supply, the operation of electric heating elements, a steam generator, the speed of rotation of fans, and circulation pumps. Compact inlets are somewhat inferior in terms of automation, equipment and functionality, but the feature of these units is their miniature size. Almost all types of installations have timers – the ability to schedule ventilation.

Design of serial systems

The designs of apartment inflows of most manufacturers differ slightly. Usually the device is a compact rectangular block (Aeropac, Selenga, Tion O2», Lossnay, Energex), covered with plastic panels. This block includes:

  • air intake duct and air removal duct (for PVA);
  • non-return air valve;
  • filter system;
  • a heating element;
  • fan;
  • control and management unit.

Household air handling units. Short review

Supply and exhaust technology of increased productivity is designed according to the same principle, but provides for the use of ventilation ducts. Design example of the Systemair VR400 EN / B installation:

  • rectangular body made of galvanized steel, option for wall mounting;
  • intake, supply, outflow, air discharge channels are located in the area of ​​the top panel. Additionally, there is a channel for a kitchen umbrella;
  • inside there are two centrifugal low-noise fans, a rotary heat exchanger, pocket filters for coarse and fine cleaning, a block of electric heaters, a programmable microcontroller from Corrigo.

Homemade production of air handling units

There are Russian kulibins trying to figure out something of their own in the field of household ventilation. We must pay tribute, some results can be achieved.

Household air handling units. Short review

A simple example of a homemade inflow. On the wall of the house in contact with the street, a hole with a diameter of 130 mm is drilled in a convenient place, into which a plastic pipe with an inner diameter of 125 mm is inserted. On the inner walls of the plastic pipe, an insulator is laid – high-density foam rubber, or another suitable material. The insulator must be at least 3 mm thick. From the street side, the channel is closed with a mesh cover. Inside the apartment, the outgoing part of the pipe is equipped with a valve with an adjustable damper and a filter element (mesh, cipron, foam rubber). That’s all – the passive inflow is ready. If the design is supplemented with a fan, the passive supply will become active.

Clean air in the apartment. Choosing an air handling unit

Filters for household ventilation systems

Air handling technology in its simplest form involves the use of filters. Modern supply and air handling units support staged filtration. That is, filters of different types and different degrees of purification are used in the designs. So, for example, in the installation “Tion O2»Three options are used at once: coarse filter, fine filter and carbon filter. The first two filter microparticles, dust, bacteria, the last one filters gases, smoke, odors.

Filter types

Coarse filters– mesh panel, for cleaning the air mass from large particles. Perform a pre-filtration task before the air enters the next stage of treatment.

Household air handling units. Short review

Fine filters– panel or pocket, made on the basis of fiberglass fabric. An example of such a filter for household ventilation systems is the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) design. The efficiency of a HEPA filter is directly related to the diameter of the fibers and the thickness of the filter material. HEPA filters are effective enough, but they have a significant drawback – as they become dirty, the filtration rate decreases proportionally. Another drawback of these filters is the high probability of the formation of negative microflora on the surface from contamination. In order to eliminate this effect, some manufacturers use antiseptic impregnation of HEPA filters..

Household air handling units. Short review High Efficiency Particulate Air

Carbon filters(adsorption-catalytic) – based on a porous material (activated carbon) capable of absorbing gas molecules. Are intended for cleaning the air mass from organic compounds with volatile and semi-volatile properties. The efficiency of a carbon filter is directly proportional to the mass of activated carbon in the structure. The cleaning speed is influenced by the size of the filter granules. The larger the size, the higher the speed. Pleated filter surface enhances performance. While having advantages, this type of filter also has disadvantages. A humid environment drastically reduces efficiency. Plus, only gases with a high molecular weight are filtered..

Household air handling units. Short review

Electrostatic filters– on the basis of plate-type electrodes. In the area of ​​the electrodes, under the action of the current, an electrostatic field is formed, which attracts dust particles. This type of filter is effective only against dust and in low air velocity conditions. Electrostatic filters can release ozone in quantities that are harmful to health.

Household air handling units. Short review

Photocatalytic filters– ensure the elimination of toxic impurities from the air by exposing the latter to ultraviolet radiation. Interestingly, these same filters eliminate odors resulting from organic compounds. High efficiency of photocatalytic filters requires high productivity of the photocatalyst and high power of ultraviolet radiation. Both the first and the second effect are difficult to implement in household ventilation systems..

Household air handling units. Short review

Filtration class

Air filters are classified according to their effectiveness. Three filtering capacity classes are established by the standard. Third class (G3, G4) – particles larger than ten microns are retained. Second class (F5) – particles larger than one micron are retained. First class (F7) – complete disposal of air from the content of microparticles and dust. Filter marking by class:

  • coarse cleaning G3, G4
  • fine cleaning F5, F7

HEPA filters have their own classification: H10, H11, H12, H13, H14. The higher the value of the classifier digit, the more effective the filter. So, the class H14 corresponds to the first class according to the international standard.

Market value of air filters

The price of filters for supply and air handling units often becomes the cause of user disappointment in such devices. The issue of filters is especially relevant for users of compact air inlets, since due to the miniature design, the filters of such systems become dirty much faster than in the case of full-fledged air handling units. For example, for the Aeropack supply, the frequency of filter replacement F5 every six months, but practice shows that replacement is required earlier. Carbon filters and HEPA filters fail even more often. The average price of F5 filters varies in the range of 1000–1500 rubles, HEPA filters of the lowest degree of purification H11 in the range of 1200–1700 rubles, for adsorption catalytic (carbon) filters in the range of 1000–1500 rubles. Fine filters F5-F7 for supply and exhaust systems are also not cheap, but withstand up to one and a half years of operation.

Filter maintenance and replacement

The filter elements are serviced as soon as they become dirty. It is advisable to clean the coarse filters of class G3 of apartment compact air inlets once a month. Panel and pocket filters G3 of air handling units are to be cleaned once a quarter. For processing, it is convenient to use a non-coarse brush, a vacuum cleaner and cleaning agents that dissolve fat deposits. Do not use washing machines. Filter elements of class F5 and F7, as well as HEPA filters cannot be cleaned and are replaced at the end of their useful life.

Household air handling units. Short review

The simplest technique for selecting a ventilation system for installation at home

Performance calculation

1. Determination of the volume of the room:

  • V = S * h (S – dwelling area, m2, h – wall height to ceiling, m).

Example: the area of ​​a two-room apartment is 51 m2. Ceiling height – 2.85 m. Volume calculation: V = 51 * 2.85 = 145.35 m3.

2. Calculation of the frequency of air exchange:

  • Vк = V * n (n – the required frequency of air exchange). For a standard apartment n = 1–2.

Example: there is a room volume – 145.35 m3. The multiplicity for an apartment is 1.5. Calculating the fold: Vk = 145.35 * 1.5 = 218 m3.

3. Selection of a unit with a performance parameter equal to the obtained air exchange rate and increased by 20 – 30 percent.

Example: multiplicity increased by 20%: 218 * 20/100 = 43.6, ventilation unit capacity for 2 rooms apartments: 218 + 43.6 = 261.6 m3/ h.

Heater power calculation (W)

P = M * 0.36 * t (M – the amount of passing air, m3/ h, t – medium temperature background of the cold season, degrees). For the territory of Russia t = 40-45 degrees.

Example: P = 261.6 * 0.36 * 42 = 3955 W (4kW)

Calculation of cooler power (W)

Calculated in the same way as the heater, except for the value t = 50-55 degrees – middle temperature background of the warm season.

Example: P = 261.6 * 0.36 * 52 = 4897 W (4.9 kW)

Steam generator power calculation (W)

P = S * h * w (S – dwelling area, m2, h – wall height to ceiling, m, w – 30, fixed value – minimum humidity parameter).

Example: P = 51 * 2.85 * 30 = 4360 W (4.36 kW)

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