The harsh Canadian winters can take a serious toll on your indoor air quality, which can have negative impacts on your health and the condition of your home. HRV systems can drastically reduce the discomfort and damage caused by dry, stale indoor air, but not if they’re in disrepair, so we’ve created a checklist for how to maintain your HRV system.
Before we dive into the specifics of how to maintain your HRV system, it’s important that you understand how they function. HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) systems vent the stale air from inside your home and exchange it for fresh air from outside, but before they exhaust the air, they recover the heat or cold from it and transfer it to the incoming air.
How to Maintain Your HRV System
- Turn it off: Before you clean or maintain any piece of mechanical equipment, it’s important to shut it off so that you don’t get injured.
- Maintain Filters: HRV systems have their own filters, and just like your HVAC system, they can get clogged and dirty, which reduces the efficiency of your HRV. At least every two months, remove the filter from the system, vacuum it, soak it in warm soapy water, and then rinse it thoroughly.
- Inspect Intake and Exhaust: Inspect the outdoor vents your HRV system uses to exhaust the dry, stale air and bring in fresh air, and make sure they are clear from leaves, yard waste, and snow.
- Inspect Ductwork and Clean Grilles: It’s a good idea to check the ductwork that leads to and from your HRV system at least once a year. Remove the grilles covering the duct, inspect them for debris and damage, as well as the duct openings. If they need further cleaning, it’s best to contact an HVAC technician.
- Clear Condensate Drain: Some HRV systems have a condensate drain, which looks like a pipe or plastic tube coming out of the bottom of the unit. At the top of these lines, there will be a drain that needs to be cleaned periodically so that the moisture can drain freely.
- Clean Heat Exchanger Core: Every model is different, so you’ll need to consult the manual for instructions on how to maintain your specific HRV systems heat exchange core.
- Maintain Fans: Gently brush the fan blades inside the system to remove any dust and dirt on their surface.
Following these steps will help improve the lifespan and efficiency of your HRV system, but it’s important to have it serviced by a licensed technician once a year to ensure it isn’t damaged or malfunctioning.
Have you had your HVAC system and HRV serviced yet this year?
Contact Team Harding!
Team Harding has been proudly serving Ottawa’s HVAC needs since 1994. Our team of licensed technicians strives to provide our clients with reliable service and equipment.