Which Home Ventilation System Is Best for your Cincinnati Home?

by Greg Leisgang on May 30, 2013

Posted in: Ventilation

ventilation-hrv or erv, Cincinnati, OhioCincinnati springtime allergens are a reminder for many homeowners of the importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ), but the truth is that more than half of U.S. homes — especially tightly sealed homes — suffer the effects of poor IAQ, which may include biological contaminants, auto emissions and more. If you’re ahead of the curve regarding good IAQ, you may be contemplating which whole house ventilation system is better for the Cincinnati area weather: an HRV or ERV?

Whole house ventilation

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) deliver pre-conditioned fresh air by utilizing a heat exchanger to circulate inflowing fresh air and out-flowing stale air close enough in proximity to exchange heat energy without mixing airstreams.

Two fans inside the heat exchanger unit, one pulling in fresh air and one expelling stale air, circulate equal amounts of air to help maintain balanced pressure inside the household. This is an important element for air-to-air exchange which helps prevent dangerous back-drafting of combustion appliances.

HRVs and ERVs may be programmed to optimize ventilation, daily scheduling and heat exchange settings. HRVs and ERVs implement air filters which, in addition to fresh ventilation, help boost IAQ.

There are two important differences between HRVs and ERVs:

  • HRVs deliver greater heat recovery efficiency during the heating months. More than 90 percent of the heat energy of indoor air is transferred to cold inflowing fresh air. An ERV delivers just over 70 percent heat recovery efficiency tested at the same temperatures.
  • ERVs transfer moisture between inflowing and out-flowing airstreams, while HRVs do not. During the more humid cooling months, an ERV delivers greater comfort by maintaining indoor humidity levels within optimal range (35 to 55 percent) by transferring moisture from inflowing humid fresh air to out-flowing stale air.

It’s wise to work closely with your HVAC professional as you decide which whole house ventilation system is best for your home comfort and energy usage preferences. Both systems benefit Cincinnati area homeowners with fresh ventilation, but with slight differences in comfort control and efficiency.

For more information about selecting an HRV or ERV, contact JonLe Heating & Cooling in Butler County and the  Greater Cincinnati area today.

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