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HRV and ERV Systems: Improve Indoor Air Quality While Saving Energy and Money

    With an increasing effort to make homes more energy-efficient, homes are becoming more insulated and weatherproof, making air quality and air circulation a major concern. To maintain indoor air quality, a home requires a mechanical ventilation system. There are four basic types – exhaust, supply, balanced, and energy recovery. Here, we take a look at Heat Recovery Ventilation (HVR) and Energy Recovery Ventilation (EVR), the less familiar of the four.

    Heat Recovery Ventilation

    In an HRV system, heat recovery ventilators, an air exchanger and a heat exchanger create a cross-flow or counter-flow of heat between inbound and outbound air.  The system conserves energy by capturing some of the heat in outbound air and transferring it to fresh inbound air. HRV systems are available as stand-alone units or can be integrated into your HV/AC unit, depending on the size of your home.

    Energy Recovery Ventilation

    ERV systems, like HRV systems, retain heat while expelling stale indoor air and circulating fresh and filtered outdoor air. The key difference the ERV system’s ability to cool inbound air as it enters your home. ERV systems can also determine the level of water vapor in outbound air and either humidify or dehumidify inbound air to match it.

    Choosing Between HRV and ERV

    Either system will improve a home’s air quality by continuously expelling stagnant air and pre-conditioning the fresh outside air that it cycles in. By recycling heat and coolness, either will make a home more energy- efficient. Under most conditions, the versatility of an ERV system makes it the better choice. An HRV system would be preferable only if you live in a place that’s usually cold.

    This is only an introduction to home ventilation options that will be unfamiliar to many people. We know that you take big decisions like this one seriously, and we know that specifics and technical details can be confusing. If you think one of these systems might be right for you, please feel free to contact us at Comfort Zone. We’re happy to address your questions about logistics, pricing, model availability, or any other aspect of these ventilation systems. We want to be your hero.