HRV vs. ERV: What’s the Difference?
- Energy Efficiency, Fahrhall, heating, Home Comfort, HVAC, HVAC Tips, indoor air quality
Nobody likes stuffy, stinky air – not to mention being stuck inside all winter with people constantly carrying all kinds of germs. That’s why air quality and proper ventilation are important. In the summer, it’s easy to open a window to let the fresh air in – that’s natural ventilation. But, do that in the Canadian winter and you’ll be an ice cube. That’s when a mechanical ventilation system comes in. There are two types of mechanical ventilation systems: HRVs and ERVs. What’s the difference between an HRV vs. ERV? We’ll tell you!
What is an HRV?
HRV stands for Heat Recovery Ventilator. An HRV system vents stale air outside and brings fresh air in. In the winter, HRV systems recover some of the heat from the outgoing air and use it to preheat incoming fresh air.
During the summer, an HRV system does something similar, except it recovers some of the cool from the outgoing air and uses it to cool the incoming air.
What is an ERV?
ERV stands for Energy Recovery Ventilator. ERVs work just like HRVs in that they recover heat, but they also recuperate energy that’s trapped within the humidity. This added ability improves the efficiency of the recovery process. When it’s very humid outside, ERVs limit the amount of humidity that enters your home. This also helps your humidifier operate more efficiently. When it’s excessively humid inside, ERVs take the humidity out – meaning your dehumidifier doesn’t need to work so hard.
What’s the Difference Between HRV vs. ERV?
Both HRVs and ERVs contribute to your overall home comfort. The main difference is that ERVs transfer moisture in addition to transferring warm or cool air, whereas HRVs only transfer warm or cool air. ERVs recapture energy from the humidity, making them more efficient than HRVs. ERVs can also achieve a higher level of home comfort than HRVs due to their ability to transfer moisture.
Both ventilation systems help reduce indoor air pollution and improve air quality. However, in climates like ours here in Windsor-Essex, where it’s dry in the winter and hot and humid in the summer, ERVs are superior because they also transfer moisture. This means that they can reduce the humidity (and heat) that enters your home in the summer and bring more moisture (and heat!) into your house when it’s dry and cold. There are some cases where an HRV might be better, like if your heating system is a non-drying system like a boiler.
To find out which ventilation system is right for your home, speak with one of Fahrhall’s HVAC experts.
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Fahrhall has been proudly serving the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions since 1967. We are committed to providing our customers and our community with reliable service and quality equipment.