A well-sealed and insulated house can be a benefit in every season, effectively lowering heating and cooling bills by reducing the amount of conditioned air and energy lost to leaks or poor insulation. A “tight” home can experience several disadvantages, however, including stale and stuffy air, high levels of moisture, increased amounts of airborne contaminants and depressurization that can pull dangerous furnace exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide back into your living environment. If you have a thoroughly sealed home that adheres to Canada’s R-2000 energy efficiency standards, you may need an HRV, or heat-recovery ventilator, to help maintain an adequate level of ventilation.
Heat-recovery ventilators, sometimes called air-to-air heat exchangers, give homeowners plenty of indoor ventilation while also providing an effective way to keep indoor temperatures at acceptable levels without overusing HVAC systems. HRVs are usually installed in the basement, where they act as whole-house ventilation systems. They operate continually, removing stale indoor air and replacing it with fresh air from the outdoors. HRV systems can usually replace the air inside once every three hours.
HRVs capture and reuse some of the heat that might otherwise leave the home during the air-exchange process, recycling as much as 80 percent of this heat energy. Air traveling through the HRV is routed into a heat exchanger. Inside the heat exchanger, incoming and outgoing air passes through separate enclosed air channels in an aluminum plate. The two air channels are very close to each other, but do not allow the air streams to mingle. As the two streams pass each other, heat from the exhausted indoor warms the cooler incoming air. In this way, heat energy is recovered and reused, which means less stress on your heating system, less waste of energy and reduced heating bills.
Arpi’s Industries is a 50-year-old company that keeps the heating and air conditioning systems of Calgary-area customers running like they should. Contact us today for more information on heat-recovery ventilator, why your home may need an HRV, or for a quote or installation of a heat-recovery ventilation system.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HRV systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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