AirEx: Smart ventilation to banish cold and damp

clock • 2 min read

AirEx helps householders to reduce their heating energy demand without compromising indoor air quality

December has been an eventful month for AirEx - not only were we announced 'Cleantech Startup of the Year' at the Business Green Technology Awards 2017, but we also successfully closed our first pre-seed investment round and are ready to scale up and make a significant impact in social housing.

Our invention, AirEx, is a patent-pending smart ventilation control that helps householders reduce their heating energy demand without compromising indoor air quality.

Tens of millions of homes across the UK have low energy standards and residents struggle with cold, uncomfortable draughts and unreasonably high energy bills. This particularly affects the social housing sector whereby tenants living in Fuel Poverty can barely afford to heat their homes. On top of this, once energy efficiency interventions are deployed, there is often a risk of damp and condensation, impacting indoor air quality and respiratory health.

AirEx was developed based on the insights from tens of thousands of energy audits in social housing lead by our core team. Cold draughts and damp are an enormous problem in homes across the UK and the range of products to address these issues is limited. Low-cost interventions have already been deployed in most homes - such as loft-, or cavity wall insulation - whilst other solutions are expensive and disruptive. We spotted a huge untapped potential with a simple solution: selectively controlling air vents.

How it works

AirEx is a novel smart-home technology that delivers significant energy saving and air quality benefits to residents in a low-cost, non-disruptive way. AirEx replaces the air-bricks in pre-1960s homes and measures the environmental conditions (such as temperature, humidity, air-flow, air quality). Its cloud-based smart algorithms enable automatic air flow adjustment based on real-time readings and predictive analytics, to reduce heat loss without compromising air quality. AirEx can be installed quickly, without having to enter the property.

Our early field trials indicate significant improvement in both thermal conductivity and airtightness - adding up to c. 10-15 per cent savings potential on an average home's heating energy bills! Given the modest upfront cost and fast installation, AirEx will pay back in two years through reduced energy bills. We have gained growing interest from housing providers and energy companies and will be delivering larger-scale trials from next year.

About the team

We are a small but fast-growing team of engineers, designers and built environment professionals who are truly passionate about sustainability, fuel poverty and climate change. Our work with social housing during the last six years have shown us the need for intervention and we are truly committed to make a step-change: deliver significant environmental and social benefits to millions in need.

AirEx won 'Cleantech Startup of the Year' at the BusinessGreen Technology Awards 2017 

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