What Is An ERV?

What is Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV)?

Energy recovery ventilation systems provide a controlled way of ventilating a home or commercial structure while minimizing energy loss. They greatly reduce the costs of heating ventilated air in the winter by transferring heat from the warm inside air being exhausted to the fresh (but cold) supply air. In the summer, the inside air cools the warmer supply air to substantially reduce ventilation cooling costs.

Because an energy-recovery ventilator transfers some of the moisture from the exhaust air to the usually less humid incoming winter air, the humidity of the house air stays more constant. This also keeps the heat exchanger core warmer, minimizing problems with freezing.

In the summer, an energy-recovery ventilator may help to control humidity in the house by transferring some of the water vapor in the incoming air to the theoretically drier air that’s leaving the house. If you use an air conditioner, an energy-recovery ventilator generally offers better humidity control.

Consumer Benefits or Energy Recovery Ventilation

Lower Operating Cost

An energy recovery ventilator uses only 100-200 watts of electricity per hour. A typical commercial building uses one third of its heating/cooling dollars to condition outside air. An Air to Air Heat Exchanger running at 90% efficiency can be used to pre-condition that outside air, resulting in significant dollars saved. For example, in a 100,000 square foot building savings could be as high as $30,000 per year for the life of the building.

Energy Savings

One of the biggest selling points of a high-efficiency ventilation system is energy savings. Up to 85 percent of the heat from the exhaust air can be recovered and reused, significantly reducing the demand on your furnace. And in the warm weather, the system works in reverse, eliminating unwanted heat and humidity.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Another important advantage is a healthy balance of air exchanges. The system, which can be combined with a high-efficiency air cleaner, is very effective at expelling indoor air pollutants. Because it draws in fresh air at the same time, it won’t create a vacuum effect from uneven air pressure – a situation which can draw in radon gas from the soil, create moisture problems and cause problems with gas appliances.

Additional Benefits …

  • Quiet operation from units contained in an isolated area.
  • Humidity control with an energy recovery system.
  • Low maintenance and long lifespan.

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