A tight building envelope is one of the pillars of passive design. However, fresh air is important to interior air quality. Heat recovery ventilation systems, also known as HRVs, recover heat from air exiting the building while bringing fresh air in. An HRV ensures that there is a continuous supply of fresh air from the outside without compromising the building envelope.
While the energy efficiency of any building can be improved through better insulation and double glazing windows, HRVs add an extra layer of efficiency to homes. The benefits of heat recovery systems extend far beyond energy efficiency alone. Here are 10 benefits of heat recovery ventilation systems:
Continuous Fresh Air
HRVs provide a continuous supply of fresh, clean air into your home all day long. This keeps residents healthy by removing indoor pollutants and odours while lowering humidity. Heat Recovery Ventilation systems create healthier homes for you and your family.
This benefit is particularly true for homes in winter climates where letting in fresh air often means losing a large amount of heat that will need to be replaced. HRVs stop your interior air from getting stuffy without incurring additional heating costs.
While HRVS are not strictly passive technology, they are an essential part of any passive design strategy. Ventilation that makes use of HRV is far more efficient due to the fact that it reclaims waste energy from exhaust airflows. This energy is used to heat incoming fresh air and recapture 60 to 80 percent of the heat that would have been lost.
HRVs can also recover heat from the air that evaporates from hot water usage in bathrooms and kitchens and transfer that heat to incoming fresh air.
HRVs reduce your energy requirements and the costs associated with them. Natural ventilation eliminates the need for large mechanical ventilation systems and HRVs operate continuously at a low rate to reduce energy consumption.
Filtration through HRVs also prevents dirt and allergens from entering the building, which can also prevent the development of mould. Exhaust from nearby cars and other external pollutants can also be filtered before the air enters the home. This improved air quality means your home will not be filled with irritants, an important benefit for those who suffer from allergies to things like pollen.
Elimination of Condensation
Condensation is one of the most common issues facing homeowners and is the most common cause of dampness in homes. The heat recovery ventilation system will remove all water vapour as it is produced and as a result there is no moisture condensation which causes dampness, rot and mould growth.
Cooling & Heating
While much of an HRV consists of heating features, HRVs can also provide cooling. In hotter climates, these cooling features eliminate the need for separate AC units and allows you to control cooling from a central source. As with heating, this provides a continuous stream of fresh, filtered air without the need to crack open a window.
Increased Thermal Comfort
HRVs provide superior occupant control, and therefore optimal thermal comfort. The system is manually adjustable, allowing you to make small changes to temperature settings and select which rooms should be cooled or heated. You can also use remote controls or your smartphone to make temperature changes.
Consistent temperatures make it easier to sleep peacefully without drafts from open windows or other rooms. A continuous stream of fresh air improves air quality and filtration can ease allergies and minimize the impacts of pollution on your lungs.
HRVs are compact in size and can be installed in your basement, attic room or attached garage. Others can fit in a hot-press within the kitchen or anywhere else that suits your needs.
HRVs distribute heat evenly throughout the building and prevent it’s complete loss through roofing. As a result, the heating system does not need to be used as frequently to reheat your home and does not endure as much wear and tear as traditional heating systems. This decreased strain makes HRVs last a long time with fewer repairs.
Heat recovery ventilation systems are perfect for new house builds as well as existing homes. Phone or complete our contact form to get started.