Winter is a time when you close up your house tight to keep as much heat trapped indoors as possible so you can keep your heating cost effective. One of the side effects of sealing up the home, however, is that it traps air indoors. This air will often become stale, dry, and filled with contaminants. One of the ways to solve this problem is to have special IAQ devices installed, such as air purifiers. In this post, we’ll look at the energy recovery ventilator (ERV), which offers some advantages for homes in winter.
The heat recovery ventilator difference
An ERV is a device that uses the air inside your home to either pre-heat or pre-cool air brought inside through an outdoor vent. During winter, the warm indoor air transfers its heat to the fresh, cold outdoor air as the two currents pass each other inside the ERV. This is a great way to receive fresh air in your home without placing an additional strain on the heater. You will end up enjoying fresher air while not suffering from cold drafts and the subsequent need to crank up the heater even higher.
An additional benefit of an ERV is that it helps balance moisture. Dry indoor air is a common problem during the winter because furnaces tend to remove excess moisture as they run. But moisture also transfers between the air currents in the ERV, and you’ll usually more balanced indoor humidity as a result.
What about a heat recovery ventilator?
You may have noticed a similar option for indoor air quality installation called a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). This is a device that works in a very similar fashion to an ERV. The primary difference between the two is that an HRV doesn’t transfer moisture between the two air currents, and therefore has no effect on humidity. In some cases, an HRV is better at dealing with extreme cold temperatures. Ask your installer which of the two is the best option for your home.
Malek Heating & Cooling offers installation of HRVs and ERV in Skokie, IL.