Avoid whole home ventilation design mistakes

Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) and energy recovery ventilators (ERV) ensure equal amounts of stale and fresh air will be exchanged and optimal indoor air quality is achieved in the home.

At the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance’s Excellence in Building Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, ProudGreenHome.com conducted an exclusive interview with Kevin Rapp, Midwest technical sales representative for Zehnder America.

Rapp explained that an HRV/ERV system works continuously to extract moist, stale air from wet rooms (kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms) and supply fresh, filtered air to habitable rooms (bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms). Up to 90 percent of the heat in the extract air is recovered by the heat exchanger in the unit and used to heat the incoming fresh air.

The HRV/ERV recovers most of the comfortable room temperature and uses it to pre-cool the incoming air. Therefore, the incoming air to the home is already close to room temperature when it is distributed to living spaces. The air conditioning needs to be run far less for cooling.  By distributing the pre-cooled air evenly through rooms, hot spots in the home are reduced, and it’s a lot more comfortable for inhabitants.

Read about whole-home ventilation solutions in the Proud Green Home at Serenbe and the Proud Green Home of St. Louis.

A Heat Recovery Ventilator, or HRV, only exchanges heat in the air. An ERV also transfers humidity from one airstream to the other. An ERV transfers the humidity as water vapor by diffusion from the high to the low partial vapor pressure side. As this process occurs, it also prevents cross contamination of the air streams, so that the exhaust air (gases, odors, etc.) is not recirculated into the fresh air stream. The ERV exchanger pores are just large enough for a small water vapor molecule to fit through but too small for larger air constituents or VOC molecules to fit through.

Energy recovery ventilators help maintain a comfortable and healthy home by reducing the temperature and humidity of the fresh incoming air during the hot, humid summer time. This is an important energy saving method. It’s a healthier and more comfortable alternative to excessively running air conditioning to combat high humidity and temperature infiltrating a home through cracks and openings in the building.

The ERV is designed to run quietly in the background, with a very low sound level so the homeowners won't even know it's there.

Read more about whole home ventilation solutions.


Topics: Energy & Environmental Building Alliance, Healthy Homes, Heating & Cooling, Indoor Air Quality, Proud Green Home at Serenbe, Proud Green Home of St. Louis, Ventilation

Companies: EEBA, Zehnder America


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