Having an efficient ventilation system can make your home more comfortable. It can also reduce allergens and air pollutants, keep the air fresher, and help maintain relative humidity while blocking too much moisture to stay inside your house. Currently, there are two whole-house ventilation systems: HRV vs ERV.
The two are confirmed to have the potency to reduce overall building pollutants and allergen, alongside helping to maintain quality relative humidity levels.
Here are the HRV vs ERV features and working mechanisms to enlighten you further on the two systems.
HRV Ventilation Systems Working Mechanism
Heat Recovery Ventilation systems (HRV) work by channelling out polluted air and replacing it with clean air from the outdoors. During the winter season, HRV systems work to recuperate the lost heat through the outgoing air. They work differently from traditional ventilation systems since they don’t channel out heated air and bring in cold air in your home.
These systems heat the air that was introduced indoors by recycling the heat from the exhausted air. With these types of ventilation systems, you’ll receive clean but warm air in your interior spaces.
ERV Ventilation Systems Working Mechanism
Energy recovery ventilators are widely used not only in homes and industries but also in building structures. These are perfect solutions for improving the air quality in different spaces. Today, the systems have become popular in businesses and homes because of their efficiency and reliability.
ERV ventilation systems connect to your HVAC ductwork and come with dual fans. The first fan works to pull in fresh air from the building exterior, while the other one pushes the contaminated air out to leave your interior space smelling fresh and free from allergens and pollutants.
What Are the Differences between ERV and HRV Ventilation Systems?
Both HRV and ERV ventilation systems are suited for colder climates. However, HRV is perfect for areas that experience excess humidity in the summer season. On the other hand, ERV systems are perfect for areas that experience low moisture in the summer season.
The HRV systems have the power to supply buildings with a quality flow of clean and fresh air. They function to extract some heat from the expelled stale air. HRV systems are ideal for homeowners and building owners who want to enjoy a clean, fresh airflow with no unpleasant drafts.
ERV ventilation systems are also perfect for warm areas that receive higher outdoor humidity. The ERV systems also have the power to recover the heat trapped in the outdoor humidity. In conditions where the outdoors receive more humidity than the interiors, the ERV systems reduce the amount of moisture flowing indoors.
HRV VS ERV: Which One is Best for You?
You already know what differentiates ERV from HRV ventilation systems, but it may not be easy to decide. In determining whether to select an ERV or HRV system, you will need to figure out several important features.
- The total number of building occupants: HRV ventilation systems are ideal for smaller high moisturized buildings with bigger families. ERV ventilation systems are perfect for drier buildings with fewer occupants.
- Overall building dimensions: The size of the building also determines whether you should go for an HRV or ERV system. HRV ventilation systems are most suited for small and medium-sized buildings, where moisture levels sprout quickly. As for ERV systems, they are ideal for bigger interior spaces, which tend to be drier.
- The target area’s climate: The specified area’s climate also determines whether you should go for ERV or HRV ventilation systems. The most suitable ventilation system will be an ERV system if you live in cold and dry environments.
If you live in topographies that receive winters with extreme humidity levels, you will be better off getting an HRV ventilation system.
- The overall building sealing: If you have a building with properly sealed windows and walls, you would better use an HRV system. If you have not properly sealed windows and walls, investing in an ERV system would be better.
- The heating system installed in your home: If you primarily heat your home with wood stoves, you would instead invest in an ERV system.
Other Features to Consider
When deciding between ERV and HRV ventilation systems, don’t forget to consider the overall system performance. Whether you go for an HRV or ERV ventilation system, get a model that meets the Energy Star Program energy efficiency requirements and the Home Ventilating Institute certification.
If an HRV or ERV ventilation system meets the energy program rating and HVI certification, it simply means that it has a heat-recovery efficiency rate of not less than 65% when at zero degrees Celsius.
How easy the HRV or ERV system is to install is also an important point to consider. Some ventilation systems are easier to install than others. However, you should not attempt installing the system yourself no matter how easy the installation steps seem.
These systems are challenging to install, and you’re likely to make costly mistakes if you’re a beginner. It is best to install these system with the help of an expert residential ventilation specialist with years of experience.
The ERV and HRV air filtering systems should be an essential consideration as well. Different ERV or HRV models use advanced air filtration systems. The best HRV and ERV systems use HEPA filters designed to clean the air of the tiniest particles, including pollen and dust.
Some units come with standard filtering systems, so take your time to decide which to choose. You shouldn’t forget to consider the overall maintenance work required to keep your HRV or ERV system in shape.
HRV VS ERV – Conclusion
If you didn’t understand much about ERV and HRV systems, you now know the differences and similarities between the two types of ventilation systems. If you want to ventilate your home and increase the comfort levels without spending a lot on energy, you want to consider these energy-efficient systems.
Considering that not every ERV or HRV system meets the set energy star efficiency ratings, you want to check the efficiency ratings of the system. Make sure you’re selecting a high-quality ERV or HRV system that operates quietly.