CleanAir Solutions Blog
How to Breathe Cleaner Indoor Air At Home & Save Money With A Heat Recovery Ventilator
If you haven't yet heard of the heat recovery ventilator, you are in for a treat.
Or rather, your lungs and wallet are in for a treat.
Because this wonder appliance can protect your respiratory health and trim your energy budget - all at the same time!
The heat recovery ventilator is so good at its job that the city of Toronto recently changed its building code to require these appliances to be installed for new construction projects.
But while ventilation itself has become somewhat of a hot topic since the onset of the global pandemic, too many of us still aren't sure exactly why it is so important, let alone how to add ventilation back into our home or workplace.
This blog post is designed to answer both of these important questions. Keep reading as our indoor air experts at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton break this down!
What Is Ventilation?
If you are already familiar with ventilation, you can skip ahead to the next section. But what we find to be more true is that ventilation is one of those words we tend to think we understand better than we actually do.
The true textbook definition of ventilation is to add fresh air back into a space.
The simplest way to ventilate is to open a window or door. This, however, is not always possible, let alone practical or safe.
Bringing in a new fresh air supply then becomes more complicated. You want the air to be clean. You need this air to be temperature appropriate. And you require your new supply of air to be reliable and steady.
What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?
Heat recovery ventilation is actually not a new invention. What is new is mass production and availability of affordable versions of this technology.
With a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, you are actually getting three appliances in one: an energy recycler, a fresh air ventilator and an air filter.
1. Heat Recovery
The term heat recovery is actually a little bit misleading. A more accurate term might be “heat exchange” - and in fact, these appliances are sometimes called heat exchangers.
During the cold months, heat energy is retained and used to preheat the fresh incoming (and very cold) outside air. This, in turn, reduces workload and energy draw on your furnace to do that same job.
During the warm months, heat energy from the fresh incoming (and very hot) outside air is drawn out as it passes through the heat exchanger core. Then, that excess heat is pushed back out through the exhaust, reducing the workload and energy draw on your air conditioner.
You might assume you don't need an extra ventilator when you can just run your HVAC fan continuously in order to get the same, basic effect.
However, this will cause a tremendous amount of wear and tear on your HVAC system, potentially shortening its useful life while also running up your energy bills all year long.
The heat recovery ventilator uses two completely separate air pathways to recover heat energy in winter and exhaust it in summer.
These two separate air pathways ensure a steady supply of fresh outside air that never mixes with stale outgoing air.
Heat recovery ventilation also includes a filtration element.
While heat recovery ventilators are best known for their energy recycling and ventilating benefits, these appliances also house a specialized air filter. I’m
This filter works to pull allergens like pollen, mould and mildew spores, dust, ash and other particulate matter out of the incoming fresh air stream before it gets distributed through your air ducts.
So what you get is a double layer of air filtration from the heat recovery ventilator filter and your HVAC system filter.
What Is An Energy Recovery Ventilator?
Heat recovery ventilators and energy recovery ventilators are closely related - and their names are similar enough to cause a lot of confusion. However, the latter is not as popular here in the far north.
The reason is because energy recovery ventilators add yet another layer of indoor air management - humidity control.
Excess humidity isn't typically a big problem here in Canada. In fact, just the opposite tends to be the case, especially during our long, cold winters.
And now that we know humidity has COVID-19 fighting properties, there is even less incentive for us to remove excess indoor humidity.
Health researchers tell us that while elevating indoor humidity cannot prevent the spread of COVID-19, keeping indoor humidity between 40 and 60 percent may be able to reduce the threat.
If you are having trouble maintaining sufficient indoor humidity at 40 percent or higher, we recommend installing a whole home humidifier system. These systems can typically retrofit with any existing ducted central HVAC system.
Can You Benefit From a Heat Recovery Ventilator? I’m
Heat recovery ventilation seamlessly and silently delivers three vital indoor air quality benefits:
- Removes stale indoor air loaded with toxins and pollutants.
- Adds back a continual, reliable supply of fresh filtered air.
- Reduces workload and energy draw on your existing HVAC system (and saves you money).
Heat recovery ventilators need virtually no routine maintenance and can recapture up to 95 percent of heat energy that would otherwise be lost and wasted.
Does the idea of enjoying fresher, cleaner indoor air, combined with lower energy bills for heating and cooling sound appealing? You may benefit from adding a heat recovery ventilator to your existing HVAC system.
Contact CleanAir Solutions For Ventilation Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario
With another projected hot and sticky summer just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about how to trim your energy bills. If you can do it while adding back ventilation, even better!
* Free contact-less estimates, quotes, service calls and payment options are available.