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Home Ventilation

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV)?

HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator)

If you use a heating system more often than air conditioning, you need an HRV. 
Heat recovery systems have been designed to recover the heat contained in exhaust air.

ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)

If you use the air conditioning more than a heating system, an ERV is recommended.
Energy recovery systems have been designed to recover the energy contained in exhaust air. 

   
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How do HRV and ERV Systems work?

HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator)

Contaminated exhaust air and fresh outside air pass through the heat recovery core in separate passages that prevent air contamination or mixture.
The fresh outside air then absorbs the heat and warms up, and is distributed at more comfortable temperature to the various rooms by the ventilation system.

ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)

It transfers latent energy (humidity) from the most humid air current to the driest, while transferring heat. So in winter, the outside air will absorb exhaust air’s humidity and in summer the reverse.

 

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Types of installation

Independent System installation

This application uses a devoted duct system for the supply and the exhausting of stale air accumulated in the home.

It is recommended to install fresh air grilles in all bedrooms and living areas. Exhaust the stale air from the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.

 

Exhaust at the source and supply in the return 

This application uses a devoted duct system for the exhausting of stale air accumulated in the home. The fresh air is dumped into the return air duct and is distributed thru the home by the existing supply air ductwork of the forced air system. 

Make sure when using this application that your fresh air duct connection to the forced air system return air duct is at least 3 feet from the forced air system. You should check with your local code or the forced air system’s manufacturer.

The forced air system’s blower does not essentially have to run when the unit is in continuous mode, but recommended for maximum efficiency.

CAUTION

  • Insure the unit runs in conjunction with forced air system

NOTE

  • Dwellings with multiple forced air systems, we recommend one HRV/ERV per system.
 

 


Exhaust and supply in return

When using this application make sure that there is minimum 6 feet between the fresh air and exhaust air connections of the HRV or ERV in the return air duct.

Supply air from HRV or ERV must be at least 3 feet from the forced air system. Can be different from a region to another. You should check with your local code or the forced air system’s manufacturer.

CAUTION

  • The HRV and forced air system must be in continuous mode, to achieve maximum comfort and to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Due to temperature differential between unconditioned areas and the rest of the dwelling, all ducts must be fully insulated.
  • The unconditioned areas temperature must always be above 0°C (32°F).

NOTES

  • Fresh air must always be down-stream from the exhaust air in the return air duct of the forced air system.
  • Installation of an HRV/ERV is not recommended for unconditioned areas (attic or crawlspace)
 

 

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Finding a suitable installation area for an HRV or ERV

The HRV or ERV unit should be installed in a mechanical room or as close to an outside wall as possible. This would assure a short run of insulated flexible duct.

The HRV or ERV unit must always be installed in an area where the air is tempered to avoid freezing of the condensate line. The contractor should install the unit in an area that is very accessible to allow the homeowner easy access for maintenance.

It is very important to install an electric receptacle (115v) near the HRV or ERV, a separate circuit breaker is also recommended. You should have access to a condensate drain near the HRV or ERV to avoid the use of condensate pump.

   
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Home Ventilation
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV)?
How do HRV and ERV Systems work?
Types of installation
Finding a suitable installation area for an HRV or ERV
Indoor Air Quality
About Indoor Air Pollution
Learn about indoor types of pollutants
Determining your ventilation needs
Why is air filtration important?
Maintenance & Troubleshooting
Problems & Solutions
When should I service HRV/ERV?
Tools & Tips
How much fresh air do I need: Determining your ventilation needs
Climate Map
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Home Ventilation Institute (HVI)
ASHRAE
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The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI)
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