As temperatures continue to drop this winter, most homeowners will be leaving their doors and windows closed and looking for ways to increase their home’s seal, keeping out cold seasonal air. While a well-sealed home can stay warm and comfortable, it can suffer from a lack of ventilation and the disadvantages that brings.

An effective solution to winter ventilation problems is an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) or a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV). Both ERVs and HRVs serve as whole-house ventilation systems, bringing in the air that provides improved indoor air quality. Airborne contaminants and particulates in your home’s indoor air are reduced, stuffy conditions are relieved, and you have a steady supply of fresh air to improve the comfort of your living spaces.

ERVs and HRVs are usually installed in your attic. At base, each type of ventilator works the same. The system pulls in air from locations throughout your home, particularly bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. This air will still contain considerable heat energy. It’s sent into a heat exchanger inside the ventilator. At the same time, the ventilator brings in cooler but fresher air from outside your home. This air is also directed into the unit’s heat exchanger. Inside the heat exchanger, the two air streams pass close together without mixing. When they are close, the outgoing warm air heats the incoming cool air, transferring a substantial portion of the heat you’ve already paid for to the fresh air coming into your home. Your home will be well-ventilated, even in winter, and it will cost less to heat incoming fresh air to match indoor temperatures.

ERVs offer an additional benefit in that they can transfer some water vapor and humidity to the incoming air. This can be a benefit in extremely dry climates or during the winter when dry air is common in home environments.

Pipe Works Services brings years of professional experience to the residential heating, air conditioning, and plumbing services it provides for customers in Chatham and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information on ERVs and HRVs and for expert help choosing which would work best for your home. We offer a quality line of Lennox ventilating systems. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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