Heat/Energy Recovery Ventilation
Ottawa's HRV and ERV Experts
Home Indoor Air Quality
Heat Recover & Energy Recovery Ventilators
As a leading indoor air quality contractor in Ottawa, Ontario, AirZone HVAC Services provides a full line of both HRV and ERV products and services. Our goal is total home comfort; this includes clean healthy air that benefits you every day.
Interested in improving your indoor air quality and enjoying monthly savings on your utility bills? HRVs and ERVs have a number of benefits when it comes to your homes indoor air quality. They are especially important for new homes that are air tight and cannot release humidity.
At AirZone, we specialize in HRV and ERV products and bring you a high quality line from major HRV/ERV suppliers such as Aldes and Nuair, and Panasonic.
What are the benefits of an HRV/ERV?
Experts at Improving Indoor Air Quality
At AirZone, we specialize in improving your indoor air quality. A HRV is a great premium option to control humidity levels, reduce utility bills, and enjoy cleaner air in your home.
The home construction quality has increased significantly in Ottawa and the Valley over the past years. This is due to a combination of more technologically advanced products and stricter building requirements. The result is homes that are so well insulated they don’t let the outside air in. This is great for heating and cooling costs, but comes at the price of reduced air quality in the home.
With so many homes having hardwood flooring, humidity control is extremely important. A HRV helps to control humidity and bring clean air into the home.
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) in Ottawa
The majority of homeowners in the Ottawa and Ottawa Valley are utilizing heat recovery ventilation systems in order to combat stale air due to air tight home construction. Many others are simply seeking to exchange air to ensure their family is breathing the cleanest, freshest air possible. For older homes in the Ottawa area, these air exchanges are happening simply through bathroom fans and infiltration of air through leaky homes.
The reason we are using heat recovery ventilators in Ottawa is directly related to our frigid winter temperatures. In older homes, cold air leaks into the home and forces your home’s HVAC system to work overtime to ensure the house is kept at a comfortable temperature.
The HRV allows you to retain 50%-70% of your home’s heat when introducing clean, fresh air into the home. This happens through a heating core designed to capture the heat from the stale air that is exiting your home. This equals energy efficiency bonuses meaning you can enjoy the benefits of an HRV without breaking the bank.
New homes in Ottawa are taking this energy savings plan to a new level, by replacing bathroom fans with a fully dedicated HRV system you allow your home to exhaust moisture while still retaining the heat in your home. If you are looking to breathe the cleanest possible air while achieving your home’s optimal energy efficiency levels a ventilation system may be your best option!
Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) in Ottawa
As summers in Ottawa become longer, hotter and more humid we are spending more time indoors with the windows closed. HRV’s have been a popular ventilation option in Ottawa for decades, but they do not handle the heat and humidity well.
Historically, if we run these units in the summer, they pull hot and humid air directly into our homes, forcing our air conditioners to work overtime.
This is where ERV’s offer a distinct advantage! They work at wicking moisture from the incoming air to ensure your home stays dry and comfortable. They do this by using a core that transfers humidity into the air that is exiting your home, effectively working as a dehumidifier.
In the winter season they can actually help introduce moisture into the air. For home’s that are continually dry all winter long, an ERV can be an excellent choice.
If you are a homeowner that is looking to run your ventilation device year round, perhaps an ERV is a better option than an HRV. With the advancements in ERV technology and efficiencies we have seen a major uptick in their adoption in the Ottawa area.
The best way to determine which unit is best for you and your home, is to book a free consultation with one of the experts at AirZone HVAC Services.
HRV & ERV Frequently Asked Questions
An HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) and an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) are very similar devices that both accomplish the goal of delivering fresh air into your home. The major difference between the two devices is the control of humidity. An HRV does not transfer humidity as part of it’s design, meaning whatever humidity levels are contained in the outdoor air, will be delivered into your home. During the winter an HRV may dry the house out and in the summer they commonly introduce excess amounts of humidity into the home. An ERV transfers humidity from the more humid air flow to the less humid airflow. This means an ERV can help reduce moisture in the summer and help keep moisture in the home during the winter.
Mechanical ventilation is the introduction of fresh air or the removal of stale air by use of mechanical devices. Natural ventilation is the process of passive fresh air. An example of natural ventilation is opening a window or simply the leaks and cracks of your home. Mechanical ventilation is superior as it allows the homeowner to control the flow of fresh air.
This is a highly contested question as both units serve their respective uses in our area. We believe each home is different and will benefit differently from each device. If your home is too humid in the winter and you tend to find moisture or ice on the inside of your windows, than an HRV will likely work best for you. For homeowners that find it dry in the winter or want to run their unit year round, an ERV may be the best option for you.
There are different installation methods for HRV’s and ERV’s. The most common in Ottawa is a simplified loop that pulls air from outside and delivers it directly into your ductwork. Many new homes have a set up called “fully dedicated” HRVS. For these homeowners, the ventilation device is actually used as a means of replacing the bathroom fans. In these setups when you hit the switch in the bathroom, the HRV will run and expel the moisture laden bathroom air to the outdoors. In these scenarios you will be exchanging your bathroom air with fresh, clean outdoor air.
Every HRV/ERV controller is different. Some are simply timers, some work based off of humidity level and some combine schedules with both the aforementioned features. Your lifestyle and goals will dictate what your HRV/ERV settings should look like. Most homeowners we work with will utilize a minimum fan speed for a majority of run time and perhaps speed the fan up in situations like parties or long cooking sessions. Feel free to reach out to discuss what settings are right for you.
If you have an ERV, than most definitely run it in the summer! As we have hot, humid summers in Ottawa an ERV handles our weather quite well. Most homeowners utilizing an HRV will not want to run the unit in the summer. Introducing this amount of excess humidity well force the air conditioner to work overtime. For clients that need fresh air in the summer but are running HRVs we may advise a schedule to introduce some fresh air through the unit in the night or even just recommend opening the windows when humidity levels drop at night.
An HRV is a heat recovery ventilator. These units exchange the stale air in your home with crisp, fresh outdoor air. As we have very cold winters, exchanging this air can not only make a home uncomfortable but also drive up the cost to heat your home. This is what an HRV is designed for. They help retain a large percentage of the heat your have already paid for and mix it with the cold incoming air. These devices deliver you amazing air quality while helping you retain energy efficiency and saving you money.
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