Heat Recovery Ventilators Explained

Heat Recovery Ventilators Explained

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Have you heard of a heat recovery ventilator for your home? Are you aware of how these systems operate? Can a heat recovery ventilator solve the problem of keeping indoor air quality fresh and healthy? Today’s tightly sealed energy-efficient homes include one drawback: a lack of fresh air.

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) or energy recovery ventilator (ERVs) transfer heat or coolness from stale exhaust air to fresh intake air. This balanced ventilation system removes excess moisture, odors, and contaminants while conserving energy and enhancing comfort within your home.

How Do HRVs Work?

Heat recovery ventilators and energy recover ventilators offer a solution to home ventilation and poor indoor air quality. Here is why HRVs and ERVs are one of the most superior ventilation options available today:

  • A heat recovery ventilator draws fresh outdoor air into a central control unit that is usually housed in your attic. The central control unit then filters and distributes the air throughout the home through dedicated ventilation ductwork. At the same time, a separate exhaust fan inside the controller removes an equal amount of stale, contaminated indoor air and dissipates it outdoors. The balanced volume of intake and exhausts works to preserve natural air balance within the home which is ideal for efficient heating, cooling and optimum indoor air quality.
  • HRVs and ERVs also incorporate a heat exchange function. As colder outdoor air is inducted during winter, an integrated heat exchanger transfers indoor heat from the warmer outgoing exhaust stream to the intake stream. This prevents heat loss in the home. In the summertime, the process works in reverse. Heat from incoming outdoor air is transferred to the exhaust system to avoid boosting indoor temperatures.

HRV vs. ERV: What’s the Difference?

Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) provide all of the benefits of a HRV system with the added capability of humidity reduction. In addition to removing heat & contaminants from the stream of incoming air, the ERV also extracts water vapor. In humid climates this is very helpful in preventing outdoor moisture from invading your home. ERVs work to extract water from the air, but they are limited in how much moisture they can extract. In extremely humid climates, a standalone humidifier should be used in conjunction with an ERV system to adequately control indoor humidity levels.

Benefits of Using an HRV or ERV in Your Home

Some of the key benefits of HRVs and ERVs is that they reduce moist, stale air from your home and replace it with clean and filtered air that is distributed to all habitable rooms without letting the heat escape. Heat and energy recovery ventilators help rid your home of odors and contaminants while allowing up to 95% of normally wasted heat to be recovered, providing you with essential energy savings. Heat recovery systems are a perfect example of how you can improve the indoor air quality in your home while still greatly increasing energy efficiency. Contact Certified Heating and Air Conditioning today to speak with one of our experts about the benefits and functionality of HRV and ERV Systems!

Works Cited:

  • https://www.bpcventilation.com/blog/do-heat-recovery-systems-work/
  • https://www.zehnderamerica.com/heat-recovery-ventilator/
  • https://hartmanbrothers.com/blog/heat-recovery-ventilator-2
  • https://www.ecohome.net/guides/2276/choosing-between-an-hrv-and-an-erv/