ERV vs. HRV

Posted by HVAC Brain on Oct 4th 2021

There are two main types of ventilator systems: Energy recovery ventilator (ERV) and heat recovery ventilator (HRV). Which one is right for you? In this article, we compare ERV vs. HRV, discuss the aspects of both systems and provide guidance on which one to buy for your home.

What Is An Energy Recovery Ventilator?

An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is a mechanical system that helps with indoor air quality and minimizing heating costs. An ERV operates as an air exchange system, working to maintain current heat levels while optimizing the humidity levels found inside the home. ERVs have a dual-intake setup where air is brought in from the outside and removed from the interior of your home in separate ventilation ducts that run through the same heat exchanger.

What Is An HRV System?

A heat recovery ventilator or HRV system is very similar to an ERV. It draws in fresh air from outside the home and moves it through a heat exchanger before bringing it into the home. At the same time, the HRV system pulls exhaust air from inside the home and transfers it through the exchanger to outside, cycling air in your home to keep it fresh.

The primary difference between an HRV and ERV is that an HRV only transfers heat, while an ERV transfers both heat and moisture.

Why Is Ventilation Important?

Aside from the fact that air can become stale if not circulated properly, other contaminants can cause problems if they are left to sit in your home for lengthy periods of time. Household chemicals can build up and become malodorous, and other indoor pollutants can cause reductions in air quality. Moisture buildup is also a concern; cooking and showering can generate an excessive amount of moisture that needs to be removed from your home before mold and other problems can arise. Energy or heat recovery ventilator systems can help alleviate these concerns.

Is An ERV or HRV System Best For You?

When comparing ERV vs. HRV, the proper system for you will depend on your area's climate and circumstances. Newly-built homes are remarkably airtight, which is great for heating and cooling costs, but can cause other issues.

Hot, Wet Summers

If you live in an area where winters are mild and summers are hot and humid, then an ERV system would be the right choice for you. Being able to acclimatize your home to the surrounding environment by removing moisture and decreasing humidity will ensure a comfortable living space regardless of the weather outside.

Mild Or Dry Summers With Cold Winters

By contrast, if you live in an area where humidity is less of a concern than maintaining heating levels, then an HRV system may be the best choice for you. In colder climates an HRV system can operate at its best capacity to maintain heat levels within your home during cold winter months while also recycling your air to provide the best quality possible.

Shop HVAC Brain For HRVs And ERVs

Regardless of which system is right for you, HVAC Brain has the unit you need. Shop home ventilation products and accessories in our online store. Still not sure if an ERV or HRV system is best for you? Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable experts.

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