A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) represents a new solution to household ventilation issues. With today’s tightly-sealed energy efficient homes, it’s more critical than ever to get fresh air into the house. In the enclosed environment, indoor air quality suffers as pollutants, water vapor and airborne particulates accumulate.
Exhaust Fans Aren’t Enough
Simply exhausting indoor air with one-way exhaust fans isn’t an optimum solution. Because stagnant air removed from the house isn’t replaced by equal amounts of fresh air, the home becomes depressurized. This makes temperature control more difficult, causes the HVAC system to run longer and compromises indoor air quality due to infiltration of unfiltered air.
A Balanced Approach
A heat recovery ventilator consists of a central controller that incorporates separate intake and exhaust fans. The intake system draws fresh air through a filter and distributes it throughout the house through dedicated, small-diameter ductwork. Meanwhile, the exhaust system draws stale air out of the house through separate ducts and exhausts it outdoors. The controller ensures that the volume of air drawn into the house by the intake fan equals the air volume removed by the exhaust fan, thus maintaining balanced indoor air pressure.
Heat Recovery Matters
To prevent unwanted heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, a heat exchanger in the HRV central controller is positioned between the incoming and outgoing air streams. In winter, heat extracted from the warm exhaust air is transferred to the colder incoming air stream. In summer, the process reverses so heat is removed from intake air and added to cooler outgoing air.
Help With Humidity, Too
An energy recovery ventilator performs all functions of an HRV but also extracts humidity from incoming fresh air and moves it to the outgoing air stream. However, in very humid climates, the dehumidifying function of an ERV may not be sufficient to adequately dry incoming outdoor air. In those cases, a standalone or whole-house dehumidifier is required to keep indoor humidity levels in the recommended range.
For more about a heat recovery ventilation to keep your indoor environment fresh, contact Powers Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.
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