What are HRV/ERVs?
Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) and energy recovery ventilators (ERV) are air exchange systems that help to enhance indoor air quality and minimize heating costs. They retain existing heat and optimize the interior moisture content in the air. These mechanical systems use fans to maintain a balanced airflow into the house while exhausting stale indoor air.
What is the difference between an HRV and an ERV?
HRVs and ERVs are similar devices in that both supply air to the home and exhaust stale air while recovering energy from the exhaust air in the process. The primary difference between the two is that an HRV transfers heat while an ERV transfers both heat and moisture. Both ventilation systems place the control of air quality and air exchange in the hands of the homeowner rather than relying on inherent, often inadequate, leaks in the home to provide necessary ventilation.
Which one is right for me? HRV or ERV?
An HRV and ERV are similar in that they both supply and exhaust air to and from the home while recovering energy from the exhaust air. Both are widely used throughout North America. HRVs have been more commonly used in homes where the primary concern is high humidity in winter. ERVs are typically recommended where moderating between humidity extremes is a year-round concern.
What are the benefits of HRV/ERV systems?
Provide an energy-efficient means to exhaust indoor pollutants to improve air quality.
Maintain a continuous supply of fresh and filtered outdoor air throughout the home.
Control excess indoor humidity when outdoor humidity levels are lower.
Recover heat from the exhaust air in winter.
Cool incoming air in summer when the house is air-conditioned.
Will an HRV/ERV save on utility costs?
Yes! In fact, mechanical ventilation systems are the only effective way to ventilate a tightly built home in order to provide a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. An HRV/ERV system provides critical ventilation while recovering heat and air conditioning energy, which will save on energy bills. An ERV or HRV will pay for itself when compared to other mechanical ventilation options.