With Indoor Air Quality a growing issues for homeowners, PHPD caught up with Nuaire to discuss its latest Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) range – the Drimaster-Eco.
To increase thermal comfort in homes, over the years, regulations have directed that they become increasingly air-tight. Whilst this has helped lower occupants’ energy bills it is also having an effect on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as less fresh air is entering the home. Without appropriate ventilation homes can be at risk of increased condensation and the growth of dangerous mould, which is linked to many health issues including asthma and allergies. The World Health Organisation has stated that poor indoor air quality is responsible for around 99,000 European deaths a year.
One solution is Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) and manufacturer Nuaire has just launched its new range – the Drimaster Eco. PIV has been around since the early 1970s and is installed in millions of UK homes. A trusted alternative to continuous mechanical ventilation, PIV meets building regulations and is a cost-effective method of whole-house ventilation.
Nuaire Residential Product Manager, Wendy Thomas explained: “Many developers still choose to use cheap extract fans which, when installed, may not extract the correct amount of air to prevent condensation and damp problems. Drimaster-Eco is the perfect solution. Not only does it meet the ventilation requirement within building regulations, but it is a whole-house ventilation system that saves energy whilst improving indoor air quality.”
The new Drimaster-Eco range offers increased energy-savings and user controllability through a host of new features, but it is the ease and speed of installation that will most appeal to housebuilders, the manufacturer believes. “Our Drimaster-Eco systems can be installed in under one hour by one tradesman, with no external core cutting, no duct runs and minimal disruption. Installing one of our low-energy systems negates the need for trickle vents and extract fans, saving time and money during the works programme. The new range is designed to simplify installation but at the same time to ensure that the most robust and effective ventilation system is in place”, said Mrs Thomas.
The new Drimaster-Eco range includes four models to offer increasing degrees of performance and energy-efficiency to meet the needs of the homeowner. One new feature is the sleek, circular ceiling diffuser which houses the system controls. This allows complete control of the unit, including commissioning and adjusting the settings, from the hallway without having to enter the loft.
The Drimaster-Eco range includes an enhanced filter area so the filters are more effective for longer. Small and light, the new unit offers an extended duct length to overcome installation restrictions, and can be hung at the right height to maximise heat gains within the loft space.
Both the Drimaser-Eco-Link and Heat models boast a new hall-control with remote control and sensor capabilities. A radio frequency receiver pairs the system with a range of optional remote and wired sensors that allow the homeowner to boost fan speed, adjust the unit when more moisture is being produced and receive alerts when CO2 levels rise above a set point. Being wireless operation, the sensors are not wired back to the unit which adds to a quick installation.
Mrs Thomas explained: “We are hugely excited to be the first PIV manufacturer to offer true demand-control through our sensors and controls. The ability to adjust the fan speed will help homeowners save energy when the house is unoccupied.”
The Drimaster-Eco-Heat also features an integral heater which is sited between the flexible duct and the diffuser. This enables the unit to temper the air entering the house rather than losing 3 to 4 degrees of heat through the duct. Mrs Thomas continued: “The unique position of the heater offers the same performance whilst using up to 20% less energy than the competition. This means lower running and life cycle costs.”
“The new range is designed to simplify installation but at the same time to ensure that the most robust and effective ventilation system is in place.”
The effectiveness of PIV at preventing condensation and improving indoor air quality has been proven by numerous studies over the past 40 years, is supported by a BBA certificate and recognised as an alternative method within building regulations. PIV is also one of three solutions to significantly reduce harmful Radon gas levels for homes in affected areas.
Nuaire anticipate that the Drimaster-Eco will surpass the popularity of is original and iconic Drimaster thanks to its use of new technology. Mrs Thomas said: “Poor indoor air quality is never far from the headlines and improving it is the starting point in all of our new product developments. The Drimaster-Eco range solves the problems with minimal energy and cost, and we can foresee its new features, such as the wireless controls and sensors, marking an exciting change of direction for PIV.”