Keeping the air in your home fresh and clean is important. One way to do this is with an air exchanger. These systems transfer stale air from inside your home and exchange that air with fresh outside air.

There are two types of energy recovery systems: Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) and Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs). We only use HRVs in our climate, since with ERVs, the incoming cold air stream in the winter will freeze the exchanger.

What Is an HRV?

HRVs release stale exhaust air from inside the home and bring in fresh air, thus improving the air quality in your home. In the process, the heat from the air being released warms the incoming air. This results in two benefits:

Buying an HRV

Here are some tips for buying an HRV:

  1. Reputable brand and contractor: Consult friends and neighbors, check online reviews and the Better Business Bureau to make sure both the brand and contractor are reputable.
  2. Size: A typical HRV should exchange all the air in the house once approximately every three hours. They are sized based on cubic feet per minute (CFM), so the actual size will depend on the cubic feet in the house (length x width x height). Too small and the unit will not do the job; too large will drive up expense without benefit. Your HVAC contractor can help you determine proper sizing.
  3. Efficiency: Systems are measured on how effectively they recover heat. There are two measures. For each, the higher the rating the better, as they will help you reduce energy costs.
  4. Apparent Sensible Effectiveness (ASEF) is the amount of heating energy used to raise outside air temperatures, so the higher the ASEF number, the better.
  5. Sensible Recovery Efficiency (SRE) accounts for heat leakage during the process. Again, the higher the efficiency, the better.
  1. Noise: These systems can be noisy, so look for an HRV system with a low noise level, or one that can be installed in an out of the way area.
  2. Maintenance: These systems will require maintenance. It’s best to buy from a contractor that can provide regularly scheduled maintenance.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for HRVs

Ravinia Plumbing’s HVAC technicians can help you select and then install the right heat recovery ventilator for you. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.