What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

Ventilation is a necessary component of all home comfort systems, bringing in fresh air to boost indoor air quality. In cold climates, many homeowners do not properly ventilate their homes for fear of losing heating energy, which affects indoor comfort and increases energy consumption. Even in mild climates, opening windows for natural ventilation is problematic, allowing allergens and airborne contaminants indoors.

A heat recovery ventilator is a solution for home ventilation problems. Fresh air is brought into the home and stale air removed – instead of simply expelling stale, warm indoor air, the heat is essentially recycled! Contaminants are filtered out, providing clean and fresh air indoors.

How does a heat recovery ventilator work?

A heat recovery ventilator is a type of ventilation system which reuses heat from the outgoing air source to warm incoming fresh air. Both ingoing and outgoing air streams pass through the system’s heat exchanger, where a significant portion of heat from outgoing air is passed to the incoming air to keep heat inside the home. Heating energy is recovered without the air streams mixing to prevent contamination of fresh air.

Advantages of installing heat recovery ventilators

Heat recovery ventilators can recover as much as 85 percent of the heat energy from the outgoing air source, greatly eliminating energy waste. The system utilizes filters which trap particulates from outdoors, preventing them from contaminating indoor air. Households will benefit from fresh air without increasing exposure to allergens.

They are also useful in the summertime. With increased natural humidity levels, as well as bodies and indoor activities giving off moisture, the heat recovery ventilator will expel moisture from the home. This makes the indoor environment feel cooler without the need to turn up the air conditioning. Year-round, homes which are prone to moisture can benefit from the use of a heat recovery ventilator.