Keep Air Fresh With a Heat Recovery Ventilator
A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) adds balance and efficiency to the issue of keeping indoor air fresh and comfortable. The problem with tightly-sealed, energy-conserving homes is that they don’t get enough fresh air. Indoor air quality suffers, humidity levels may become elevated and airborne particulates and contaminants can accumulate. Simply throwing open windows lets heat out and causes your furnace to run longer to compensate, increasing heating costs. Meanwhile, one-way ventilation fans that only bring air into the house can overpressurize the home and drive warm air out. A heat recovery ventilator resolves all ventilation issues with a single unit.
Keeping Comfort Balanced
The HRV central fan unit and controller is connected to dedicated, small-diameter ductwork routed through the living spaces. Inside the controller are two fans: An exhaust fan draws a specific volume of stagnant air out of spaces such as laundry rooms, utility rooms and elsewhere and conveys it out of the house. Meanwhile, an intake fan inducts the same volume of fresh outdoor air into the house and disperses it to bedrooms, family rooms and other living spaces. Because exhaust and intake air volume are equal, neutral indoor air balance is preserved–the best status for efficient heating and cooling.
Holding On To Heat
Inside the HRV central controller, a heat exchanger is positioned between the exhaust stream and the inducted fresh air stream. Furnace heat is extracted from the outgoing airflow and added to the incoming flow of fresh, cold, outdoor air. This allows the introduction of fresh air into the home without paying a penalty in heat loss, diminished comfort and higher energy costs.
The ECM fan technology incorporated in high-efficiency HRV units sips electricity. At low speed, a heat recovery ventilator may consume as little as 13 watts. New units now coming on the market now reduce that consumption even further.