When to Turn On an HRV System

We always encourage homeowners to make sure their homes are as airtight as possible to increase the efficiency of their HVAC systems, but that too presents a problem. If your home is airtight, it will keep you from losing heat during the winter, but it also means there is a limited amount of fresh air circulating throughout your home. Installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator, also known as an HRV system, can allow fresh air to enter your home without decreasing the efficiency of your heating system.

What is an HRV?
HRV systems work in conjunction with your furnace and the pre-existing ductwork of your forced-air system to introduce fresh air into your home without reducing the overall temperature. The system captures heat from the air it is exhausting and uses it to heat the incoming air before it enters your home. Introducing fresh air into your home can improve your indoor air quality and reduce the winter stuffiness that many homeowners experience.

How do you use an HRV?
Every HRV system is slightly different, but most can be set to run at different time intervals. We recommend setting your HRV system to “minimum” or “vent.” You can also program them to run intermittently or on what’s known as a “20/40” option, which means the HRV system will run for 20 minutes of every hour to ensure you have a constant flow of fresh air in your home. The “20/40” setting is great for homeowners in Ottawa who have to keep the windows shut for months on end during the long, harsh winters.

When should you turn on your HRV system?
This is one of the most common questions our customers who have HRV systems ask us, and rightfully so because there is some debate on the subject. Some people think they should be used all year because they can work in conjunction with your air conditioner as well, while others think they should only be used during the winter. We recommend that our clients use their HRV systems anytime all the windows and doors in their home are closed, but the system should be shut off when you open them again to conserve energy. There’s no harm in using the system year-round when your windows and doors are closed because the temperature exchange from the stale air to the fresh air ensures you aren’t losing efficiency.

Interested in improving your home’s air quality with an HRV system?
Team Harding has the system for you!

Harding Heating & Air Conditioning has been proudly serving Ottawa’s HVAC needs for over 25 years. We’re dedicated to providing our clients with reliable equipment and quality service.

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