What is Ventilation Flow Rate Testing?
Ventilation flow rate testing measures the amount of intended ventilation in a property. This becomes ever more important with the requirements to build highly insulated and airtight buildings meaning that if this is not considered, it can be detrimental to the indoor air quality.
Part F of the UK Building Regulations stipulates that all adjustable mechanical ventilation systems (such as mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery [MVHR]) should be correctly balanced and commissioned to ensure that it is providing the correct level of air flow. Failing to do this can lead to problems with condensation and extra expense from over-worked ventilation units.
It also states that standard intermittent extractor fans should achieve specified flow rates so that the correct level of ventilation is provided to the kitchen and wet rooms, again to avoid problems with condensation and poor air quality.
When is Ventilation Flow Rate Testing needed?
As the ventilation flow rate testing can be carried out in the same visit as an air permeability test, it is often more cost effective to commission this testing for the same time. This is also important as the air permeability will have a direct impact on the level of ventilation required.
In order to ensure a first-time pass, some things to check include:
- The fan – Is your extract powerful enough for the room it is installed in? A common mistake that lots of developers make is assuming that the flow rate shown on the fan packaging will be what it achieves when installed. Unfortunately, these are usually flow rates recorded in laboratory environments, with minimal ducting if any, and do not necessarily depict a realistic result in your property. It is important to buy a good quality fan with a measured flow rate slightly higher than the minimum requirements as this will give you a better chance to pass come test day.
- The ducting – The ducting should be free from any kinks, rips and acute angles, as these will obstruct the air flow within. Using rigid ducting instead of flexible will reduce these factors and also reduce the possibility of the ducting being squashed by any debris within the cavity.
- The outside vent – Sometimes the outside can be undersized or can become stuck/blocked. Please ensure that the vent is large enough to accommodate the intended air flow and that it is free from debris. If the vent has flaps or a cover, it is also important to make sure that these are not stuck.
How can Productivv help?
Productivv Energy’s engineering team are fully qualified to carry out the balancing and commissioning of mechanical extract systems or conduct flow rate testing for standard intermittent extracts.
With same-day certification and large price discounts if carried out alongside an air permeability test, you can rest assured that we will get you the results you need.