Many people have no idea what a heat recovery ventilator is, and why should they? It’s an important but often-overlooked component of a household ventilation system – which is an important but often-overlooked companion to a home’s HVAC system. Let’s start at the beginning:
Older homes didn’t have much need of ventilation systems. They were often drafty because building materials weren’t produced to today’s exacting standards. Lots of gaps and cracks meant lots of airflow. But over the last half-century, modern materials and building methods have produced extremely “tight” homes. They simply don’t let much air in or out.
Unless you live in an ancient home with little insulation, chances are pretty good you should be considering ventilation systems.Otherwise, your family is breathing stale air that can contain viruses, mold spores, chemical vapors, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and even dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. It isn’t pretty to think about, but it can be fixed.
A ventilation system is another term for “powerful well-placed fans that pull fresh air into the house and exhaust stale air.” Effective ventilation systems can be “whole house” units like attic fans, or a series of small fans that affect different rooms. The configuration depends on your home, and a qualified heating and air technician can make a good recommendation. One thing that would be recommended here in Alberta is a heat recovery ventilator.
A heat recovery ventilator is fan-based, but does something more. It actually transfers heat from the air being exhausted to the air being pulled inside. With a heat recovery ventilator, you’ll have a constant influx of fresh outside air while retaining the heat your furnace has worked so hard to create. There could be few ideas better than that for a Calgary winter!
To find out more about ventilation systems and heat recovery ventilators, visit Natural Resources Canada. And to find experts who can help you choose the right system, visit Arpi’s. Together, we can make it happen.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).