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Posted by on Aug 2015 in All Stories | 0 comments

Saving gas using heat recovery for the Make Up Air unit

This post was sponsored by Union Gas.

diagram of heat recovery unitLooking for an energy savings ally? Adding heat recovery onto a Make Up Air unit is the answer. This technology extracts heat from the exhaust air stream and uses it to pre-heat incoming air. The result: fresh air at the quantity and temperature desired along with up to 55 per cent reduction in natural gas use. The greater the volume of air used, the larger the savings.

The “heat wheel” chosen for our demo location features a rotating disc with a specially designed material that maximizes heat capture and transfer. As the disc passes through the exhaust air and then the supply air, it draws heat from the outgoing air and transfers it to the incoming air. The two air streams are kept completely separate ensuring that only the heat is recycled, while the old air is vented to the outside.

The recaptured “waste” heat is used to pre-heat outside air before it passes into the Make Up Air burners. As a result, less gas is needed to bring the air to the temperature required for comfortable hallways and common spaces.

The savings impact is striking. The average annual natural gas consumption for heating Make Up Air has dropped from 135,000 m³ to 61,000 m³ – a saving of 74,000 m³ (55 per cent) or $23,000 per year!*

Dollar savings have been equally impressive.  The cost of adding the heat recovery wheel was $96,350, and Union Gas supplied an incentive of $14,000.  In the four years since, the participant has saved $94,720 on their gas bills.  Under the new Affordable Housing Program for Union Gas incentives, they would have qualified for a $48,000 incentive from Union Gas, lowering their simple payback to only 2 years!

All multifamily buildings with central exhaust systems are good candidates for saving natural gas through heat recovery for Make Up Air. The technology can be installed with a new Make Up Air unit or added to an existing unit.

*Results and savings may vary. Claims are based on historical data from previous projects.


For more information about Heat Recovery in Apartment Buildings, click here:

For more information about the Union Gas Affordable Housing incentive program, click here:

To contact a Union Gas Commercial Account Manager, click here:

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