HRV or ERV: How Do You Know Which Ventilation System to Choose?

Indoor air filtration is a great way to keep your indoor air quality at a healthy level. Which type of ventilation system should you choose? Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilation systems (ERVs) are popular choices in homes across the country.

Here’s how to decide between the two.

What do HRVs and ERVs do?

Both HRVs and ERVs filter your indoor air, without losing too much heat or air conditioning in the process. You’ll get cleaner, fresher air without having to open your doors and windows or lose your climate-controlled temperatures. Both types of systems trap and expel pollutants like dust, pollen, mold and odor-causing bacteria, which means your home will smell cleaner through no extra effort of your own.

Both systems work with your preinstalled ductwork, so it can freshen your entire home. Many systems have heat-recovery features where the indoor and outdoor air never meet—but thanks to passing by a super-thin membrane, the temperature can be regulated. In the winter, your warm indoor air will transfer some heat to the cold outdoor air being pumped in; in the summertime, the cool indoor air will help lower the outdoor air temperature. That means that you’ll lose less of your climate control and spend less on your energy bills.

Basic differences

The main difference between HRVs and ERVs is their moisture-control feature. HRVs have dividing walls that are sealed against humidity, while ERVs use desiccants to trap moisture. Generally, an ERV will allow more humidity inside than an HRV; however, in the summertime, an ERV will help your HVAC’s dehumidification process.

How to choose between the two

When deciding between an HRV or ERV, your choice should hinge on humidity. The more people (and humidity) generated in your home, the more likely an HRV is the right choice for you. If there’s just one or two of you, consider installing an ERV instead.

HRVs are also the right choice for small to midsize homes and homes with airtight envelopes. On the other hand, if you have a wood-heated home (which tends to be drier), an ERV would be the right solution.

When deciding between the two systems, it’s always wise to ask a professional for help. The team at Healthy Communities would be happy to explore your options and make suggestions—after all, we pride ourselves on designing and building efficient and sustainable homes, so we have experience in what works best in local surroundings.

When indoor air filtration is a concern, our heat recovery ventilator and energy recovery ventilators can make a huge difference. We’ll answer all of your questions and then help you decide which system is more likely to meet your goals.

Get in touch with the experts at Healthy Communities today to learn more about our homes. If you’re looking for a high-quality and environmentally-friendly home for your family, we’d love to help. Reach out to discuss your options today. We look forward to scheduling an initial consultation to tell you more about homes that will meet your needs!

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