What Does an Energy Recovery Ventilator Do?
An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is a device installed into a residential HVAC system that lets in a current of fresh outdoor air, which then runs past a current of indoor air. Through a process called counter–flow heat exchange, the heat from one current transfers to the other. What this does is “pre–condition” the fresh air from outside before it reaches the heater or air conditioner, making less work for the comfort system to either heat or cool the incoming air. Afterwards, the fresh air enters the home at an ideal temperature.
For example, during a hot summer day, an ERV draws in a fresh but warm current of outdoor air. It then runs this through a counter–flow of stale but cooler air from inside. The hot air loses its heat to the indoor air and cools down. The stale air is vented outside, while the fresh air travels to the AC. The air has already lost much of its outdoor heat, and the air conditioner doesn’t need to expend a large amount of energy to continue to cool it down. The process works in reverse on cold days, with warm indoor air heating up the cold fresh outdoor air.
Reasons to Consider an ERV System
Installing an energy recovery ventilator will benefit your home in multiple ways:
- It will increase the quality of your indoor air, since you will have a constant circulation of outside air into your home to remove the stuffy and stale air that collects inside.
- It will help you conserve energy and save money on your heating and cooling bills, since the ERV recovers approximately 85% of the energy that would otherwise be lost because of exposure to the outdoor temperatures.
- It will help with humidity control to maintain better comfort, since moisture from one current of air will transfer to the other.
So with an ERV working for your home, you can expect a more pleasant indoor environment, better air quality, and lower bills.