Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing
My first year in the ventilation industry
Published:  17 July, 2014

As a product marketing manager, my key objective - my 'raison d'être', if you will - is to get excited about my products. A good product marketer should be able to muster enthusiasm about anything.

When I was offered a position at Greenwood Airvac on a 12-month contract, my initial reaction was: “Ventilation? Really? Oh well, it’s only a year”. Eleven months later and I can honestly say that I’m not ready to leave this industry yet – let alone this company.

My first few weeks were a challenge. Everybody seemed to be speaking in tongues. It was all ‘centrifugal’ this, ‘axial’ that and ‘enthalpy’ the other! Then I started to notice other phrases slipping into meetings and conversations – phrases such as ‘fuel poverty’; ‘indoor air quality’; ‘occupant comfort’. Suddenly, we weren’t just talking about the little white whirring things that sit in the corner of your bathroom; we were looking at ways to help people with their energy bills and carbon footprint, to help them feel comfortable in their own homes and help if they have allergies or respiratory issues such as asthma. This was my ‘eureka’ moment. Ventilation matters!

Another term that grabbed my attention was ‘passive house’ (or ‘passivhaus’, to give it its original name). I was tasked with writing a brochure about our range of passive house-certified heat recovery units, and was helped massively by some fantastic websites dedicated to this super-efficient standard of building. Every screw, every Watt and every degree of temperature is calculated and accounted for – and the results are astounding!

One of the major factors to the success of any passive house dwelling is the efficiency of the heat recovery system at its heart. The fact that we had an entire range of MVHRs that were up to this stringent task filled me with a sudden sense of pride.

So now, as I finish this blog piece from the ‘comfort’ of my flat in a Victorian house conversion – my flat that leaks like a sieve, has more air changes per hour than a bus shelter and has a certified energy efficiency rating of E – I am settling in to watch my favourite show, Grand Designs, and dream of the day that I will build my own home. Only today my dream has changed slightly. A year of working at Greenwood Airvac has taught me that my dream home will be of the ‘passive’ variety.

Nicola Webster is product marketing manager at Greenwood Airvac.