Most people know what “ventilation” means. When you want fresh air, you ventilate.
But how exactly is ventilation accomplished today? Do you just open a window? Given that the current temperatures here in Ontario are hovering around 0 to 7 degrees Celsius, that would be a resounding “No!”
The truth is, while opening a window is a time-honored way to increase ventilation in any space, there are times during the typical Canadian year when it just isn’t feasible! Whether due to allergies, weather, energy efficiency (letting out all that warm air or cold air you just paid to generate), there has to be a better way, right?
Yes! There is a better way! It is called the “heat recovery ventilator,” and we are about to explain why this really is the latest, greatest invention of the HVAC industry. We will also tell you why you really want one in your home or workplace.
What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?
A heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, (sometimes also called an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV, although these are slightly different) ensures that your space stays well ventilated via mechanical means.
In other words, you no longer have to open a window and hope for the best in order to exchange stale, oxygen-poor air for fresh, oxygen-rich air.
Now you can have a steady supply of fresh air and you don’t even have to think about it.
At its most fundamental, a heat recovery ventilator works continuously to blow out the old, stale air and pull in the new, fresh air. But the heat recovery ventilator goes one step further by re-using the heat in that old outgoing air to warm up the fresh incoming air.
As you can imagine, this saves you quite a bit on having to pay to heat that incoming air yourself! Current estimates indicate a heat recovery ventilator can retain and re-use up to 85 percent of that otherwise wasted outgoing heat…heat you would otherwise have to pay for.
At this point, you might be thinking “That’s cool, but what happens in the summer?” Glad you asked!
In the summer, the heat recovery ventilator reverses its operations, extracting unwanted heat from the incoming fresh air and sending it back out with the old stale air. Here again, you don’t have to pay to cool down the incoming air in exchange for having fresh oxygenated air to breathe.
What Else Can a Heat Recovery Ventilator Do?
Just moving heat around and oxygenating your indoor air is a lot, but as luck would have it, a heat recovery ventilator can do more than just that.
It can also help keep your indoor air pure and humidity-balanced. This is useful both in the new “tight” (well-sealed) spaces, where construction practices have figured out how to pre-seal nearly every leak or crack that could ever develop inside a space, and in the older, drafty homes where energy efficiency is more a dream than a reality.
In the newer spaces, humidity and toxins can build up rapidly because there is nowhere for them to go. In the older spaces, humidity and toxins can creep in from the outside and cause mould, mildew, and odour.
The heat recovery ventilator doesn’t just move heat around. It also moves humidity around. pollen, pet dander, dust mites, volatile organic compounds, off-gassing, dust, carbon monoxide, radon and other unwelcome airborne visitors are handily removed from your indoor supply with the help of the heat recovery ventilator’s efficient filtration system.
If you have struggled with window condensation, mildew or mould growth in bathrooms, laundry rooms or basements, off-gassing from new furnishings or DIY home improvement supplies, seasonal pollen, or pet dander, a heat recovery ventilator is really going to be a good ally!
Installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator
For those of you who have been following this blog for a bit, you may currently be struggling with “indoor air purity envy” (yes, this is a real thing). Perhaps you think you have to be very rich or to move to a new construction space to ever enjoy truly pure, oxygen-rich air.
This is a myth! We are here to tell you that you don’t have to change your space or your lifestyle to enjoy the benefits of indoor air purity! In fact, most of our clients are working with older HVAC (air conditioning, heating) systems, and let’s be honest, budget is always a concern with today’s escalating energy costs.
You don’t even have to upgrade your air conditioner or heater to be able to make great use of everything the heat recovery ventilator can offer you. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, a heat recovery ventilator can reduce your symptoms significantly. If someone in your household or workplace struggles with asthma, a heat recovery ventilator can filter out some of the most potent triggers for asthma attacks.
What you need to know is simply this: today’s heat recovery ventilator systems can be retrofitted to work with any type of HVAC system. Today’s heat recovery ventilator also has several settings, which means that it can be turned up or down as needed to adjust the amount of ventilation you need or want.
For example, you may want to turn up your heat recovery ventilator if you have another family over to stay with you for a week, and then turn it down again when it is just you and your family in the house again.
Get in Touch
Are you ready to breathe fresher, cleaner, oxygen-rich air this year? We would love to help you achieve that goal! Today’s heat recovery ventilation systems are worth getting excited about, and they will save you on doctor bills, sick days, and energy costs.
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470 to schedule your free consultation today!