Why We use Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV’s) – A long time ago, homes were not as tightly insulated. Due to outside winds many air exchanges through the house would occur which would allow fresh air to be circulated inside the house and at the same time remove humid moist air. As energy prices insulation…although this began to cut down on energy bills another issue began to emerg…to much moisture was developing inside the house, this moisture would condense on colder surfaces and begin to cause mold/rot damages.
Heat Recovery Ventilators were developed to take the warm moist air from inside of the house, channel it through an HRV unit which would pass the air next to another channel of fresh air from the outside, thus heating the outside air up before it comes back into the house. Heating the air this way saves on energy costs because you don’t use your furnace to heat the incoming air.
About HRV’S – Natural Resources Canada NRC Guide on Heat Recovery Ventilators will provide information on operation,maintenance and trouble shooting. You can also check out NRC Energy Efficiency site for more info and to find an energy efficient model
It’s also important that you keep these HRV units clean. There are filters inside which get dirty and require changing, as well as the unit itself may require cleaning due to the dirt and dust carried by the moisture collecting inside. There are several videos on YouTube which you can watch to help you maintain your HRV, click here for an example. You should always consult your specific brands information on proper operation and maintenance.
Using an HRV – Many times people would ask me when do I use this HRV. It depends on your house and how air tight it is. There is a control which is usually located near the thermosts for the furnace, sometimes the control is located near the HRV unit. There are a few settings which can be used – Intermittent, Low and High. Read chapter 4 page 17 of the NRC Guide it will help you decide which setting is best for your specific needs.