With better building practices and materials, homes are more airtight than ever before. This is great for efficiency, but has created an unexpected problem—a limited amount of fresh air circulating throughout the home. A Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) can be installed that allows fresh air to enter the home without sacrificing efficiency. Since many homeowners aren’t familiar with these systems, we answer a lot of questions about how heat recovery ventilators work, when to use them and how to turn on an HRV.
Mechanics of an HRV System
An HRV system exchanges stale indoor air with fresh, outside air. During the heating season, an HRV captures the heat from the exhausted air and transfers it to the incoming air, preheating it before it enters the home, thereby increasing efficiency. Most often HRV systems are installed and used in conjunction with a furnace and use the established ductwork of a forced-air system.
When to Use an HRV System
There is a bit of debate about when to use HRV systems. Some people think they should be used all year-long, while others believe it’s best to only run an HRV system in the winter. We always tell our clients that an HRV should be used any time all the doors and windows are closed, no matter the season. Just remember to turn off the HRV when you open windows to conserve energy.
How to Turn On an HRV System
Every HRV brand could have slightly different operating directions, so it’s always best to refer to the owner’s manual or the manufacturer website for information. However, in general, it’s best to run the HRV system on “Minimum” or “Vent.” Many people prefer the “Intermittent” or “20/40” option, which runs the HRV for 20 minutes every hour. Either option is acceptable and will properly ventilate the home.
A heat recovery ventilator system is perfect for homes in Ottawa—where we’re forced to keep windows closed during our brutally cold winters and humid and hot summers.
Contact Team Harding with any questions you have about HRV systems
or if you’d like more information about installing a heat recovery ventilator in your home.
Since 1994, Harding Heating & Air Conditioning has been Ottawa’s premier home comfort specialists for the region’s heating, cooling and indoor air quality needs.