How to Choose the Best Home Ventilation System - 26/07/2018

Choosing the best home ventilation system can be a difficult decision with many factors to consider such as the choice between positive pressure systems or balanced pressure systems.

At HRV we have been helping Kiwi families create drier and more energy efficient homes for over 15 years. Find our tips below to help make your decision on the right ventilation system for your situation.


Why We Need To Ventilate Our Homes

Just like us, our homes need to breathe. We must expel the old stagnant air from our lungs in order to make way for the fresh new air. Our homes are the same. Without regular ventilation, houses can become damp, hard to heat, and prone to condensation, moisture, and odours. Installing a Home Ventilation System is a great way to ensure that your home stays dry all year round.

Historically, New Zealand homes tended to be uninsulated and draughty; not airtight enough to prevent the cool winter air from getting in. This meant that while there was good ventilation, the air was very cold and often damp, creating a hard to heat home. By 1978, all new homes were required to be built with some form of insulation. So, while airtight, newer houses tend to be easier to heat, they can also be harder to ventilate without a Home Ventilation System, leading to the very common symptom of condensation on windows.



Our Home Solutions Generator provides a personalised solution to help you choose the system that's right for you and your family.


Home Ventilation System Comparison

When it comes to choosing the best Home Ventilation System for your house it helps to understand the difference between the current ventilation systems available.


Positive Pressure Ventilation Systems

Currently, the most common home ventilation system in New Zealand is the Positive Pressure Ventilation System. It works by sending the warm, dry air from the roof area, down into the rest of the home via a series of vents.

Any small amount of dust that may be present in the roof space can be filtered out using filters such as HRV’s unique nano fibre filtration system. This means that the air entering your home via a Home Ventilation System is likely to be cleaner than air blowing in through the window, which could bring dirt and traffic smog in with it.


Balanced Pressure Ventilation Systems

Alternatively, the Balanced Pressure Ventilation System, uses air from outside your home to keep your home well ventilated. The system pumps external air into the home, while another fan simultaneously expels an equal amount of old, stagnant air. Heat from the old air is exchanged with the new air in what is called a heat exchange unit. This allows the new incoming air to be warmed slightly, helping to keep the home at a desirable temperature. This can make Balanced Pressure Ventilation Systems better suited to homes in locations with larger variations in seasonality, such as Central Otago.

An important consideration of using a Balanced Pressure ventilation system in New Zealand is our propensity for draughty homes. The Balanced Pressure Ventilation System, is recommended for homes that are built to be airtight, with good internal ventilation flow and a reliable heating system such as a fireplace or a correctly sized heat pump.


DIY Ventilation Systems

Alongside professionally installed options there are also a number of DIY products in the market aimed at the more practically minded.

Something to keep in mind when considering a DIY home ventilation system is whether it is truly right for your home. Buying a DIY system online or in store doesn’t ensure that it is the right fit for the needs of your home. When you decide to have a Home Ventilation System installed by an HRV professional, your home is first assessed to make sure the system you commit to is tailored to suit your requirements and any work carried out is covered by our comprehensive 3 year warranty.

DIY may seem like a great way to reduce the costs of your Home Ventilation System installation, but any savings you might make in upfront cost may be lost by not installing the optimal system to fix your ventilation issues.

Unless you have a reasonable amount of electrical knowledge, it probably pays to leave it to the professionals.


Installation Process


DIY Installation

There are a lot of factors to consider when putting together a home ventilation system such as diffusers, placement, insulated ducting, quality filters, heaters, controllers and wall fittings! Phew! As you can see there is a lot to it. It’s definitely not a simple task you can figure out after watching a quick YouTube tutorial.

All Home Ventilation Systems, either DIY or professionally installed, require a new power point to be installed in the roof space. This must be checked by a registered electrician, which is part of the service HRV offers. Failure to have this signed off officially could result in your home insurance becoming void. There's also the health and safety risk of tinkering with electronics that you don’t completely understand.

Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that all electrical work undertaken in your home is safe and reliable. Leave it to the professionals and sleep easy.


Professional Installation

When you opt to have your home ventilation system installed professionally, the first step is to have your home assessed. At HRV we offer this service free of charge as a no-obligation consultation. A free home assessment can be completed quickly and will ensure that your home ventilation system is right for your home and family.

If you then opt to go ahead with the installation, you simply leave it up to the professional electrician. They will install a new power point and issue you with a certificate of compliance to show that the work was done by a licensed professional.  In most cases, installation will take about a day of two and then your Home Ventilation System is ready to use straight away. The standard warranty on HRV systems is three years, however, you can talk to us about options to extend this to up to five years.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to home ventilation, you can use our easy home solution generator online. It takes no more than three minutes and takes into account the size and style of your home, how many people live in the abode, what kind of climate you live in and what heating system you have in place. It’s not as thorough as a Professional Home Assessment but it will definitely help to give you an idea of what kind of Home Ventilation System and Total Home Solution might be right for you.



Choosing the right filters

To ensure that the air being pumped into your home is as clean and fresh as possible you want to select the best filters for the job.

If you are looking to install an Home Ventilation System to reduce the effects of health issues such as asthma, eczema and allergies, you’ll definitely want a filtration system that reduces the presence of airborne toxins, spores and pollens.  HRVs nano-fibre technology SETA filter combined with the rest of the ventilation system effectively reduces moisture and condensation, as well as creating a cleaner, drier home environment. It is the only filtration system in New Zealand to have a Sensitive Choice Accreditation.

These filters are longer lasting than cheaper varieties available from hardware stores and on average will only need to be changed every three years. You’ll know when they require changing as the change filter light will start to flash.



Over 184,000 New Zealanders have opted for an HRV Home Ventilation system to help create a warm, dry, and more energy efficient home. But really the large collection of glowing testimonials speak for themselves!

The Teura family was experiencing some health issues that are commonly associated with living in a cold, damp environment. They were pleased with the results, noticing an improvement in their wellbeing – “it’s the best investment we ever made.”

“Installed the HRV home ventilation system last week … Quick, efficient service – sales interview with Melia [on] Monday, installed Friday afternoon. Thank you HRV.” – Edith Dyer.


HRV Add Ons

If you’ve already had an HRV system installed and are looking for even more ways to keep your home dry and happy, there are a range of extra products that may interest you.


Heat Transfer Kit

The HRV Heat Transfer Kit is a great way to move hot air from one part of the house to colder spaces. For example if you have a fireplace in the main living area, the Heat Transfer kit can be installed to switch on when the temperature reaches a certain level and send the excess hot air into the cold bedrooms.


Summer Kit

The HRV Summer kit works to keep the home comfortable and cool during the warm, sticky summer months. By pumping in more air from the cooler south side of the home, the home’s ventilation time and air flow is increased. It also helps to keep the home cool and comfortable on those hot summer nights, without having to crack and window and invite in a family of mozzies.



If you’re looking to upgrade to the best Home Ventilation System available, look no further than the HRV+. Not only does it remove moisture and irritants from the air, but it’s also able to change its function to suit every climate.

HRV+ combines both positive pressure and balanced pressure technology. In winter it uses both to evenly distribute energy throughout the entire home, keeping it at a constant cosy temperature, while also ensuring the air is fresh and clean.

In summer the HRV+ works like the summer kit, able to keep the air fresh and cool, day and night.


Finding the best Home Ventilation System for you

Every house is different and in order to make it the perfect home for your family, all of its unique needs must be considered.

To truly find the perfect Home Ventilation System for your requirements, you’ll want to request a Free Home Assessment by a qualified HRV installation expert.

Get in touch today to book in your home assessment as soon as possible.

Further Reading

Ventilation System Costs

Condensation On Windows - Find Out Why You Get It

Ventilation & Heating - The HRV Dream Team