Select the Right Mechanical Equipment to Enhance Home Ventilation
Many homes can get away with natural airflow for ventilation, but those that can’t must rely on mechanical equipment to get the job done and enhance home ventilation. Choosing the right equipment is absolutely important, as the wrong choice could prove expensive and time-consuming to undo.
HRV vs. ERV
Today’s mechanical ventilation equipment is split between heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs). Both are designed to enhance home ventilation by pulling fresh air into your home while, at the same time, pushing stale air out. Both intake and exhaust streams go through the core of the device, allowing it to recover some of the heat that would otherwise exit through the exhaust stream during colder weather. The main difference between an ERV and an HRV is that an ERV helps maintain humidity levels by transferring a small amount of moisture from the exhaust stream to the intake stream, similar to how HRVs retain heat.
Which Option is Right for Your Home?
It’s tough to say which mechanical device works best to enhance home ventilation unless a skilled and experienced contractor conducts a detailed examination. However, there are a few general rules that dictate the type of mechanical ventilation that’s installed in the average home:
- HRVs work best for small, tight houses in cold climates.
- ERVs work best for large houses in cold climates, plus they cost less to operate in hot, humid climates.
- In mild, mixed climates, it’s a toss-up between HRVs and ERVs. Humidity issues and home size both play a role in choosing your mechanical ventilation equipment. For instance, an ERV has less of an impact on indoor relative humidity levels than a comparative HRV setup, primarily due to the amount of moisture that’s recycled into the intake stream.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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