Recovery Ventilation: Technology That Can Improve Indoor Air Quality In Your Metro East Home

Posted On: February 02, 2013

Homeowners in the Metro-East area can greatly improve indoor air quality with the installation of one simple tool: recovery ventilation. It’s often necessary to provide mechanical ventilation in a home if it’s built to code and is airtight, or when energy-efficient improvements upgrade the efficiency of older homes. With an airtight, properly insulated structure, however, there’s less natural ventilation. Recovery ventilation systems offer access to fresh air and increased air circulation, without greatly adding to operate costs.

Two primary options exist for recovery ventilation: the energy recovery ventilator (ERV) and the heat recovery ventilator (HRV). Learn the technology they use to improve indoor air quality, with one key distinction.

Recovery ventilation employs a heat exchanger, fans and vents. Moving air through your existing ducts, or a dedicated system of ducts, the ERV and HRV both draw air into the home from the outside through the air-intake vent. At the same time, a fan draws air from inside to outdoors through the exhaust vent. These two streams of air move in opposite directions through the recovery ventilation system’s main component, the heat exchanger. In the winter, heat energy is stripped from the departing air and added to the inflowing air, while in the summer, it’s removed from the inflowing air and added to the exhausting air. The two streams of air never meet inside the unit. Most recovery ventilation systems can reuse about 80 percent of the energy in the air, preheating and precooling the air for year-round use, drastically reducing the costs to operate the ventilation system.

The ERV goes a step further in its technology. While it strips energy from the outgoing supply of air, it also manages moisture, removing it from the incoming air supply during summer, and restoring a measure of moisture to the air during winter. As a result, the ERV helps control humidity.

Ernst Heating & Cooling has served homeowners in the Metro-East area since 1951 with quality HVAC installation, repairs and maintenance. Contact us today for more information about recovery ventilation or for help choosing a system that will work for your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about recovery ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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