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Understanding the Difference Between HRV and ERV

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) are balanced whole-home ventilation systems designed to provide fresh air supply in any weather. However, deciding which system to install may evoke confusion. Read on the understand the importance of ventilation and the difference between an HRV and ERV to help determine the right system for your Orlando area home.

Why Ventilate?

Daily ventilation is essential for maintaining a healthful indoor home environment. Balanced ventilation systems, such as HRVs and ERVs, simultaneously use intake fans and exhaust fans to maintain neutral air pressure in the home. If you have a leaky older home, it’s advisable to seal up your home’s envelope with caulk and weatherstripping. This helps prevent harmful contaminants from inside the attic, walls and crawl space being sucked into the living spaces.

Additionally, fresh air movement through newer and tighter homes helps mitigate moisture pockets that become “trapped” inside the home and inevitably contribute to mold growth.

Benefits of HRVs and ERVs

Both HRVs and ERVs use a heat-exchange core to “recover” the energy used to cool or heat your home. For example, during the cooling months, cooled indoor air absorbs heat from warm fresh supply air as it circulates through the core before it’s expelled from the home. This heat exchange pre-cools fresh air intake and lightens the burden on the A/C.

Since HRVs and ERVs use much less electricity than your A/C or heat pump, you save energy dollars when compared to other ventilation systems without a heat-exchange core.

Best Choice for Orlando Homes

The only difference between an HRV and ERV is that an ERV exchanges water vapor between intake and exhaust air streams in addition to exchanging heat energy. While ERVs are not whole-home dehumidifiers, they do help reduce and manage high indoor humidity — especially when working in conjunction with your A/C or heat pump. Therefore, most HVAC professionals and home builders would likely recommend an ERV for homes in the humid Orlando area.

If you have questions about choosing between an HRV and ERV for your Orlando area home, please contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solution.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about HRV and ERV differences and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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