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The construction industry has made some homes much more air-tight in order to keep energy efficiency high. However, that means that homes now need a mechanical ventilation system that can bring in fresh air and remove humidity, smells, and other air contaminants. You have two choices for mechanical ventilation: ERV vs HRV.

Both are powerful solutions that have a lot to offer homeowners, especially those with passive or very high-efficiency houses. But which should you choose? Here’s a guide to the options. 

What is an HRV System? 

HRV stands for “heat recovery ventilator.” This system allows stale air to leave the house and brings in fresh air. However, if the system just let the air in unchecked, it could undermine your home’s energy efficiency. So, HRV systems treat the new air with heat, bringing it up to temperature. 

In fact, the way that the system does this is very clever. It extracts the heat from the old air as it leaves your home and uses that heat to treat incoming air. Neither the furnace nor the vent needs to generate new heat, so the process is very energy efficient. 

If you want to learn more about HRV systems and how they can help your family, contact us today.

What is an ERV System? 

ERV stands for “energy recovery ventilator.” They also allow stale air to leave the home and fresh air to come into the home. They use the heat from the old air to treat the new air. However, they also manage the humidity in your home, by drawing the humidity out of the old air with desiccants and adding it to the new air as it comes in. 

At least, that’s how it works in the winter when humidity levels are low. In summer, if humidity levels are too high, an ERV system will actually remove humidity from the incoming air in order to make your house more comfortable. 

As you can see, an ERV system can be highly beneficial in very dry or very wet climates, where it’s a challenge to manage humidity and have proper ventilation. The humidity level in your home significantly impacts your comfort, so it is worth looking into. 

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ERV vs HRV: Which Ventilation System is Right for Me? 

Canada has a very dry and cold climate in the winter. We can benefit from a system that both retains the heat in our homes and the humidity. Otherwise, the humidity created by your whole-home humidifier will go to waste, and you may experience the symptoms of dry air, such as irritated skin, eyes, nose and throat. Therefore, an ERV system is usually the best choice for Canadian homeowners. 

There are also different ERV systems to choose from. In the end, you should trust professional HVAC technicians to help you make a decision among ERV ventilation systems for your home. Contact us today to learn more.  

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