What's an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

What's an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is an innovative device that provides fresh air ventilation without increasing cooling or heating costs. Engineers designed ERVs to solve some of the air quality problems caused by tight buildings and homes that lack adequate fresh air.

Airtight homes save a good deal of energy, but the indoor air may suffer. Too little fresh air enters, allowing odors and pollutants to build inside. ERVs solve that problem by exhausting it to the outdoors, while pulling in an equal amount of fresh air. They use technology that extracts the energy from the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air, which reduces cooling and heating costs.

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) are nearly the same as ERVs, but won’t remove the humidity from the incoming air. In the summer, humidity builds and too much of it can harm the home’s structure, its contents, and anyone with respiratory issues. The ERV extracts excess humidity and can also be set to add humidity in the dry winter months.

How They Work

An energy recovery ventilator uses two fans and a heat-extracting core to provide balanced ventilation. They can freshen the air in just one area, or be attached to the HVAC system so that they pull in fresh air each time your cooling or heating system turns on. They can be operated manually, or you can use a timer to control when and how often they run. Most come with an air filter that traps airborne particulates before they enter your home.

Their Benefits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists indoor air as one of the most polluted environments many people face daily. An ERV dilutes the concentration of common indoor irritants, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), found in many common household products, manage humidity, and keep indoor air fresh.

An energy recovery ventilator reduces the problems associated with stale, polluted air quality inside homes and buildings. To learn more, call Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical at (408) 868-5500. We proudly provide HVAC and air quality services for homeowners in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz.