Mechanical Building Ventilation
To live comfortably and achieve optimal health, people simply need fresh air. While breathing isn’t something on most of our conscious minds, each of us breathes every minute of every day of every year we are alive.
The thing is, fresh air isn’t always as easy to get when it’s cold or hot and humid outdoors. Opening up the windows to let fresh air in isn’t always an option. That’s why mechanical ventilation is important.
What Is Mechanical Ventilation?
Rather than relying on inconsistent airflow from small holes and cracks in your home, a mechanical ventilation system ensures your home will continually have fresh air. In simple terms, a mechanical ventilation system circulates fresh air using ducts and fans. Mechanical ventilation systems allow a constant flow of outside air into every corner of the home. Added benefits include filtration, dehumidification, and the capability to condition the outside air.
ERV vs. HRV: Which To Choose?
Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV)
Energy recovery ventilators are designed to connect to the ducts that make up your HVAC system. ERVs draw clean, fresh outdoor air into your indoor spaces while also removing the stale air.
An ERV also makes use of a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger works to transfer moisture and heat from the stale air stream to the fresh air stream.
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)
Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) works between two sources at different temperatures. Heat recovery is a method that is advantaged to reduce the heating and cooling demands of your home or building.
By recovering the residual heat in the exhaust gas, the fresh air entering your HVAC system is preheated (pre-cooled), saving you money on energy bills.
Your local indoor air quality specialist can determine what type of mechanical ventilation is best for your home. Climate and individual needs are the best indicators of whether an ERV or HRV is right for you. Here is a quick cheat sheet: