A lot has been written and discussed on how to operate and service your HRV or ERV.
Much attention should be given to the section that describes the dehumidistat control since it is most frequently misunderstood.
In this article, we will dispel what a lot of Winnipeg homeowners tend to believe in how an HRV will affect your home. Quite simply an HRV will assist in recovering heat while exchanging the air in your home.
Here are a few conditions that it will not correct.
- An HRV is not a heater. Although it is an energy saving component that will recover heat, it cannot be counted on by itself as a soul source of heat.
- An HRV is not an Air Makeup. Some homeowners may think that an HRV or ERV can help overcome the depressurization caused by the introduction of a large kitchen exhaust fan (over 200cfm). This is not possible since most HRV’s have low airflow rates less than 200 cfm. An HRV or ERV needs to remain in balance at all times. Makeup air by definition is required exclusively to overcome exhaust air that is causing negative air (depressurization).
- An HRV is not a Dehumidifier. Humid days during the summer are precisely when homeowners want and need dehumidification. During this kind of weather, don’t expect your ERV to help. In fact, it’s a good idea to minimize ventilation rates during hot, humid weather since you will be introducing humidity levels as high as 90+ % directly into your home.
Under these conditions, the only appliances that will provide comfort by lowering the humidity levels are air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
During the winter season outdoor air tends to be dry since it cannot hold as much moisture. Overuse of an air exchanger will tend to dry out your home but it is by no means a dehumidifier.
HRVs and ERVs are designed to provide efficient ventilation or air exchange — that is, to introduce fresh outdoor air into your house and to exhaust stale air from smelly, humid rooms. Because these units have a heat-exchange core, they cost less to operate than any other type of ventilation system. As much as 80% of the heat value can be recovered and reintroduced into the heated space.
Depressurization and humidity problems are becoming more and more common in Winnipeg homes. Every time a home becomes more air-tight by installing new windows, increasing insulation or vapor-sealing, air exchange is usually reduced and these new conditions for the most part become unexpected problems that must be corrected.
Call us for a no cost consultation regarding your Backdrafting or humidity concerns.
Tradesman Mechanical Services LTD
Your Comfort is our Business!