A Heat Or Energy Recovery Ventilator: Which Is More Effective?
We all know the importance of fresh air. After all, it’s one of the key ingredients keeping us alive!
Our bodies need fresh, clean, oxygenated air to function. Grow. Focus. Heal. And so much more! It truly does wonders for both our physical and mental well-being!
But without it, our health immediately begins to suffer.
Do you find yourself feeling stressed, tired or sluggish? Even a few deep breaths of clean, fresh air can make a big difference for your mind and body!
That’s why whole home ventilation is so important.
And while there are manual ways to ventilate your home (i.e. opening the windows), installing a ventilation system is much more effective.
But which ventilation system is better: A heat recovery ventilator or an energy recovery ventilator?
Read on to find out!
Why Is Ventilation So Important?
First things first...
Let’s break down the importance of good ventilation in more detail.
Ventilation removes impure air from your home and brings in fresh air from outside.
This air circulation of stale air with fresh air is what keeps your home livable!
And since Canadians spend roughly 90% of their time indoors, keeping up with fresh air circulation is imperative.
Installing a whole home ventilation system can help:
Lower Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is dangerous, and it can come from a variety of sources.
- Household cleaners
- Wood Smoke
- Radon Gas
- Scented Products
- High Humidity
- Cigarette Smoke…etc.
Ventilation can help reduce indoor pollution by diluting it with fresh air. It carries harmful pollutants outdoors and brings clean, fresh air back in.
Manage Humidity Levels
Another factor affecting indoor air quality is high humidity.
Humidity is the amount of moisture (water vapour) in the air. And while some humidity is necessary for our bodies to function safely and comfortably, too much can cause:
- Dust mites,
- The growth and spread of bacterial and viral organisms,
- Airborne germs and more!
Ventilation has the power to draw out stale, humid air and replace it with fresh, outdoor air!
Improve Your Physical Health
Are you experiencing headaches, fatigue or dizziness?
Maybe your nose, throat and eyes are constantly feeling irritated.
Or maybe your allergy or asthma symptoms are constantly acting up.
These are all signs of poor indoor air quality.
But a ventilation system can help!
Good ventilation can:
- Remove harmful pollutants,
- Lower your humidity and
- Bring in fresh air!
All helping dissipate these symptoms - improving your physical health and overall well-being!
But it’s not just your physical health that improves…
Improve Your Mental Health
With good ventilation, your mental health can also improve!
Did you know that the brain uses about 20% of the body’s oxygen supply. This oxygen is essentially used as a power source for neurons - controlling everything your body can do! From your conscious functions and your unconscious function, your brain controls both.
But without an adequate supply of oxygen, your brain can’t function - affecting your physical and mental health.
With improved ventilation and air quality, you can experience:
- Improved mood.
- Decreased levels of stress hormones.
- Decreased anxiety.
- Improved immune system functionality.
All in all, the healthy circulation of fresh air can help your brain feel calmer, sharper and happier! Just a few more reasons why fresh air is vital to your health!
Heat Vs. Energy Recovery Ventilators
Now that you understand the importance of fresh air circulation in your home, let’s learn how to make that happen.
As mentioned above, numerous ways exist to increase ventilation in your home. Some forms of ventilation even occur naturally - like when you open and close your doors and windows throughout the day.
However, IAQ experts always recommend a more steady and effective solution for indoor ventilation. Especially since home builders construct homes that are way more airtight today than in the past.
Two of the most effective solutions for increasing ventilation include:
a) Heat recovery ventilation and
b) Energy recovery ventilation.
Let’s explore each in more detail below:
Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV System)
The heat recovery ventilator, or HRV system, continually replaces stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air. This allows it to remove harmful pollutants from your home - including mould, household chemicals, bacteria…etc.
But it does more than that!
An HRV system can also recycle (or recover) heat - lightening the load of your air conditioner and furnace!
Here’s how that works:
During the winter, HRV systems capture stale air, draw heat from it, and use it to preheat the incoming fresh air. This helps your furnace out a lot and can actually lower your heating bills!
During the summer, this process reverses. The HRV system removes heat from the incoming fresh air and transfers it outdoors. This ensures the air conditioner isn’t working extra hard to keep that hot air out of your home - helping you save on cooling costs!
This way, your ventilation system prevents your home from wasting heat energy. Making HRVs a multi-purpose indoor air quality solution!
Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV System)
The energy recovery ventilator, or ERV system, works similarly to the HRV system. The only difference is that it can do EVEN MORE!
Besides removing harmful pollutants like an HRV system, the ERV system can also recycle moisture. This helps lower humidity levels in your home, making it healthier and more comfortable. But it can also lessen the pressure on your heating and cooling system - ultimately saving you money in the long run!
During the winter, ERVs recycle the moisture leaving your home, preventing your home from becoming too dry.
You can also use ERVs in the summertime! But it is only recommended if you have air conditioning and keep the windows closed. If your indoor air is less humid than your outdoor air, ERVs will ensure that excess humidity from outdoor air stays outdoors. This process allows your air conditioner to cool and dehumidify your home much more easily.
Which Is The Better Ventilation System?
Since the HRV and ERV each offer equally impressive benefits, how do you know which to choose? Is one really better than the other?
Here’s the thing…
The best ventilation system actually depends on your climate, lifestyle, home and specific needs!
For example, is your home quite humid in the winter? If so, then an HRV is probably the better solution.
An ERV doesn’t transfer humidity. It recycles it - keeping it at its source. So if your home is too humid in the winter, the ERV will only hold on to that moisture.
What is your home’s climate like?
If you can answer that question, you’re well on your way to selecting the best ventilation system for your home!
Need Help? Ask The Experts At Campeau Heating!
With Canadians spending more and more time indoors, creating healthy spaces for their health and well-being is vital.
Do you have more questions about how the right ventilation system can help improve your indoor air quality? Our experts at Campeau Heating are always here to help!
Give our office a call today at (705) 560-2441 or contact us online!