Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Tips for Using a Heat Recovery Ventilator for Your Home 

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) gives you all the benefits of fresh air throughout the year without raising your energy bills. It’s an especially useful appliance in homes that are tightly constructed and have little air infiltration, or when you want or need more ventilation indoors. The U.S. EPA has found that indoor air can be much more polluted than outdoor air, which may have serious health ramifications for all the home’s occupants.

What HRVs Do

HRVs are balanced ventilation systems that pull out the same amount of stale indoor air as they pull in from the outdoors. Over time, indoor air quality (IAQ) declines in tightly closed homes from:

  • Commonly used products that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like cleaning supplies, anything perfumed, air sprays, makeup, gas appliances, and attached garages.
  • Dust mite waste.
  • Pollen and pet dander.
  • Excessively high humidity levels.

When HRVS run, they replace the vented air immediately with fresh. Many come with filters for the incoming air to trap pollen and all have heat-exchanging cores that remove the energy in the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air, which lowers the cost of heating or cooling homes using fresh air.

Their sizes are measured in their capacity for exchanging air in cubic feet per minute. You and your HVAC contractor can determine how much ventilation your home needs based on family size and the amount of fresh air it needs.

How to Use Them

The HRV can be installed to ventilate a specific place, or used as a whole-house ventilation system. The devices are sometimes installed in attics or closets. They’re often used with programmable timers to freshen the air in bathroom areas, bedrooms, kitchens, or garages. When used as a whole-house ventilator, they deliver fresh air into the home’s ductwork for the HVAC system.

A heat recovery ventilator improves IAQ, a vital component of good health. For more information, contact Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for North County homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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