In a poorly insulated property, drafts lead occupants to turn up the heating, which drives up their energy bill. Conversely, in an airtight home, the lack of ventilation can cause damp and condensation problems. Combining comfort AND heating savings is therefore a major challenge, especially in old social housing units. That's exactly where AirEX smart ventilation comes in!
Unlike conventional ventilation, AirEx is smart. By means of sensors, it analyses temperature, humidity and indoor air quality. It then automatically regulates its air flow to find the right level of ventilation. AirEx thus improves the thermal efficiency of a home and ensures good air quality, while reducing heating bills by 10 to 15%.
EDF Pulse - finalistes 2018 - Airex [chiffre 01] EN
EDF Pulse - finalistes 2018 - Airex [chiffre 02] EN
EDF Pulse - finalistes 2018 - Airex [chiffre 03] EN
Engineers, product designers, built environment professionals, economists, etc. Although they come from different backgrounds, the 6 members of this team have one thing in common - they are all passionate about tackling climate change and energy insecurity. To their credit, they have carried out 30,000 energy audits in the social housing sector.
4 questions to AirEx
Where did you get the idea for this startup?
AirEx’s development is based on the insights of tens of thousands of energy assessments in social housing. Draughts and the damp are an huge problem in homes across Europe and the range of products to meet 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 in a seemingly simple solution: selectively controlling air vents.
Any recent good news?
Those last few months were full of exciting news for AirEx: we have been selected as "Cleantech Startup of the Year" at Business Green Technology Award, we raised additional seed investment from a large cleantech VC fund and we gained a huge interest from commercial customers. Our team is now growing and we are really excited about the next steps: rolling our larger trials across Europe.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
We had to literally 'crawl' under the floor many times to gain a good understanding of real life conditions such as air-flow or moisture risk in a harsh environment where we mostly operate our AirEx devices. While it is not entirely unexpected, but nonetheless certainly an unusual task to do and I wouldn't recommend to try it if you're claustrophobic.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
AirEx is not only about energy efficiency. We provide a novel IoT solution for those who need the most by improving the overall quality of their homes. We do this in three major ways: 1) Improving thermal comfort by excluding uncomfortable draughts; 2) Lower heating energy bills by improving the thermal efficiency of the home; 3) Protect residents' health by reducing the chance of mold caused by moisture build-up, while warmer temperatures are healthier for residents.