A new series of technical seminars that address the energy efficiency issues surrounding ventilation in social housing is being rolled out across local authorities in the UK. The seminars discuss the principles of air extract ventilation and the automatic recording and analysis of data that can ultimately reveal exactly how effective an extraction system is and how up to 80% of heating energy can be saved in social housing.

This evaluation of energy efficiency is made possible through innovative microprocessor controlled technology that allows environmental data to be captured and downloaded from the latest Energysaver Datamatic fans developed by Airtech Environmental Systems. Thought to be a world first and the most significant development in air extraction since fans were first introduced into domestic dwellings in the 1930’s, this revolutionary technology enables housing associations and local authorities to ascertain if a fan has been run, when it was run and for how long; crucial information that can be used to determine the efficacy of an extraction system. Basic devices that simply log hours run have been available for some time but, until now, no one has been able to offer comprehensive real time data that answers the two most common complaints from tenants: ‘my fan never runs’ and, conversely, ‘my fan is always running’.

All the data gathered – up to 420 hours – is graphically displayed on a single A4 sheet. A ‘Fan On’ is shown as a vertical box known as a ‘Manhattan’. This data record can be downloaded and displayed on a laptop or PC. Clicking on any one box reveals both a minimum and maximum run time in that timed period. Separately, on an ‘Event Summary’, the total run time from when the fan was installed is shown.

Unlike other fans the Energysaver Datamatic fan is installed with a non-switched fused-spur so tenants cannot tamper with the power supply. The environment throughout the property is therefore monitored continuously and the fan operates only to adjust RH when necessary.

Manual extractor fans can consume up to 10 times the power of intelligent fans. Although the running costs of sensor controlled fans can be about one sixteenth of the cost of a 60W light bulb, the real savings are in lower fuel bills as heating systems do not have to work so hard to maintain temperatures.

The technical seminars can be tailored to focus on energy saving or other specific problems related to ventilation, control of condensation, damp and mould in local authority housing any area in the UK. For details of the current schedule or to arrange a seminar contact John Davison, Airtech Environmental Systems, Stathe Road, Burrowbridge, Somerset TA7 0RY Tel: 01823 690292. Fax: 01823 690291 Email: jdavison@nvagroup.co.uk