“Going green will pay dividends” | National Ventilation

“Going green will pay dividends” | National Ventilation

Robin Francis, Managing Director at National Ventilation, explains more about the government’s Green Homes Grant and why it’s so important for electricians to get involved.

The Green Homes Grant was launched by the government in September of last year to help boost the uptake of energy saving home improvements and assist with reaching the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The original deadline for improvements was March 2021 but this has since been extended to March 2022, meaning electricians now have plenty of time to sign-up to the Green Homes Grant and undertake work through the scheme.

In short, the vouchers on offer as part of the grant can be used to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of works, up to £5,000 or up to £10,000 for low-income households. This work must include at least one ‘primary’ measure, such as improved insulation or low carbon heating. The good news for electricians is that ‘secondary’ measures can then be added, including triple glazing, draught proofing, heating controls and, importantly, improving or repairing controlled ventilation systems.

How can you get involved?

For electricians who want to undertake work under the grant the first step is to be registered with TrustMark. To do this you must meet Publicly Available Specification Standards (PAS 2030) to install energy efficiency measures. Once registered, you’ll be added to the certified installers directory, which homeowners and landlords will be able to contact you through for a quote.

Don’t forget the ventilation

For anyone undertaking energy efficiency improvements under the scheme (or at any other point), ventilation should never be an afterthought. Any works that make a home more airtight to improve energy efficiency can result in poor indoor air quality (IAQ), condensation and mould if ventilation is not improved at the same time.

The reason for this it that when a home is made more airtight it can no longer ‘breathe’ to allow polluted and stale air to escape the house. Without effective ventilation this can build up, resulting in indoor air pollution. Moisture in the air also can’t escape, causing condensation to form which can potentially cause black mould to grow. This is both unsightly and can lead to serious health problems.

Fortunately, the government has identified these issues and the negative impact on both IAQ and resident health. As such, the Green Homes Grant scheme allows for ‘repairing and improving controlled ventilation’ as a secondary measure under the scheme. Therefore, electricians are well placed to work alongside other trades to ensure effective ventilation is installed to create a healthy home environment. This is also in-line with Building Regulations where installers need to comply with the legal requirement that a home’s IAQ must not be made worse by adding insulation, double glazing or draught proofing measures under the scheme.

A cost-effective route to compliance within the Green Homes Grant scheme is to install intermittent extract fans of the right size in ‘wet’ rooms and to ensure fresh air enters the building through background ventilators without causing draughts.

Green Homes Compliance Scheme

To make things simple for installers the Green Homes Compliance Scheme has been launched. This provides guidance on how to ensure sufficient ventilation in a home when air tightness has been improved. It also has the added benefit of helping electricians to easily identify suitable products from companies like National Ventilation. These accredited products carry the Green Homes Compliance badge which demonstrates that fans will meet Building Regulations requirements and deliver effective ventilation. It also gives extra peace of mind that legal requirements have been met.

Ventilation solutions

To ensure good IAQ and a healthy home, any ventilation improvements should be carried out at the same time as any of the primary energy efficiency measures under the scheme. When choosing which fan to install it’s vital that it will extract air at a sufficient rate when installed to remove polluted air whilst overcoming any resistance to air-flow from ducts or grilles etc.

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What else is there to consider?

The essentials of ventilation include ease of installation, reliability, effectiveness, quiet operation and install location. When installing a fan in a bathroom, the ideal choice is a fan that offers all these and that can also be installed safely in the splash zone. For example, the Monsoon Zone 1 Silence range from National Ventilation provides high extraction rates with low energy use of just 7.5kW and a low SFP of 0.33w/l/s and exceptionally quiet running levels of just 22d B(A).

It has an IP45-rating so can be safely installed in Zone 1 without the need for a low voltage transformer, making it ideal for a small bathroom. It also has two speeds and a range of control options, including Basic, Timer, Humidistat and PIR. Plus, it also makes the installation easy for electricians thanks to a larger terminal block, making wiring easier, and a unique spirit level bubble to ensure a level install.

Another good option is an in-line mixed flow fan which can be used for exhaust and supply ventilation for rooms with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens that require high pressure and powerful airflow. For example, National Ventilation’s UMD range of domestic mixed flow fans combine high performance of up to 198m3/h with power consumption as low as 17-19W and low noise levels of just 28dB(A) on low speed. The fans are also IPX4 rated and feature a two-speed motor equipped with Standard Thermal Overload Protection for extra safety.

The Green Homes Grant scheme not only aims to help the UK on the road to zero carbon but presents a great opportunity for electricians to gain additional work in the installation of ventilation. With the Compliance Scheme providing ventilation guidance and a product finder, there’s never been a better time to sign up for the scheme if you’ve not done so already.

Get more details about the Green Homes Grant and Compliance Scheme by clicking here

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