Effective ventilation is essential in modern homes that are especially airtight. While the lack of air leaks in your home’s envelope is good for energy efficiency and effective heating and cooling, it can present health issues unless stale interior air is being exchanged with fresh outside air. One of the most effective air-exchange systems is balanced home ventilation.

What Is Balanced Home Ventilation?

These systems come as either a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) and operate under the same basic principles. While balanced ventilation systems can be expensive to install, they have relatively low operating costs.

Using powerful fans, HRVs and ERVs pull fresh outside air into a house while exhausting stale air outside. They do this with two parallel airstreams, one outgoing and the other incoming. In most balanced home ventilation systems, fresh air is delivered to living areas, including family rooms and bedrooms, while stale air is exhausted from rooms where bad air collects such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

How an HRV Works

In an HRV, the core of the system transfers heat energy from one airstream to the other. As a result, in the winter, not all of the heat in outgoing air escapes with the air; some of it stays inside with the inflowing airstream. In the summer, some of that heat is removed from incoming fresh air and sent back outside. This means the inflowing air isn’t making your A/C’s job harder than it already is.

How an ERV Differs from an HRV

An ERV works similarly, except that it also transfers moisture from one airstream to another, in the summer from the inflowing air to the outflowing air, and vice versa in the winter. This helps with indoor humidity control.

These systems satisfy the main goals of an effective ventilation system: fresh air promotes good health, reduces obnoxious odors, limits the concentration of indoor pollutants, and controls humidity.

For more information on balanced home ventilation systems for your Northern New Jersey home, please contact us at Pipe Works Services

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