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HRV & ERV Systems: What Are the Differences

indoor air quality factors


Everyone knows the importance of ventilation for homes in Canada. The next step is to learn more about ERV systems and HRV systems. Both are different from one another.

However, both systems can do an impressive job at improving the overall quality of your indoor air. Each has their own set of pros and cons. The truth is there is no one-size fits all solution. With that said, feel free to read on to learn more about each system before deciding which one to get.

home ventilation

HRV: What Does it Mean

HRV is short for heat recovery ventilation.

How Does HRV Systems Work

These systems bring in fresh air by venting stale air outside. During the wintertime, the system recovers some of the heat from the air that is going outdoors. The air is then used to pre-warm the air that is coming indoors.

During the summertime, the system does the same thing. Except the process is done in reverse. This means the outgoing air is recovered and then used to cool off the air that comes back inside.

The bottom line is your AC or furnace won’t work any harder than necessary. Furthermore, you won’t use a bunch of energy. In turn, you could potentially save money on your utility bills.

ERV: What Does It Mean

ERV is short for energy recovery ventilation.

ERV: How Do the Systems Work

This type of system draws air from the outside. The stale indoor air is replaced with the outside air. During the process, some of the chill or heat will be transferred to the new supply of air.

Differences Between the Two Systems

There is one key differences between the two systems that will play a major role in which one you choose. With HRV systems, only cooled or heated air is recovered. With ERV systems, both the relative humidity and heat are recovered.

During the wintertime, your indoor air won’t become overly dry. During the summer, you won’t have to worry about too much humidity. It’s a win-win situation.

If your air is too dry, then those who reside in your house may be more prone to conditions such as sore throats and dry skin. If the air is too moist, then mold could end up developing. In turn, you could suffer with respiratory issues and allergies.

indoor air quality factors

Which System Is Right for Your Home

There are a number of considerations to make before making your decision. This includes:

The Climate– ERV systems are perfect if you reside in an area that has hot summers and cold winters. If your local climate fits that description, then opt for an ERV system.

Your Heating System– If you use a system like a boiler or another type of non-drying heating system, then opt for an HRV system. An ERV system is better if your current heating system dries the air.

Year Your Home Was Built– Was your home built prior to the 70s? If so, the chances are your indoor air is a bit dry, and this is why you should consider an ERV. If your home is newer, then consider getting an HRV system.

Your Household Size– Generally speaking, the more people in your household, the more humidity will be generated. This can be due to breathing, more showers being taken and more cooking. If you have a large household, then an HRV us a good option.

We Can Help!

At Furlong HVAC Services Inc. we are experts who can help you decide which system is right for you. We’ll go over what your options are and then we can handle the installation process. Contact us for a free quote.


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