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Using A Heat Recovery Ventilator In Your "Tight" Home

If you’ve weatherized your home to save energy, or if you have a relatively new home constructed with energy efficiency in mind, you may find that one drawback to your tightly sealed home is the lack of ventilation when the weather outside is too cold, hot or stormy to open the windows. With a heat recovery ventilator, you can enjoy fresh air any time of year, and boost your indoor air quality for greater comfort and health – without boosting your utility bills.

How a heat recovery ventilator works

A heat recovery ventilator is a whole-house ventilation system that typically utilizes the existing ductwork to replenish your home with fresh air. A heat exchanger is used to efficiently transfer heat energy between the in-flowing fresh air and the out-flowing stale air (without mixing the air streams). Depending on the temperature variance of the opposing air streams, as much as 80 percent, or more, heat energy is transferred inside the heat exchanger. 

On cold winter days, the in-flowing cold air absorbs heat through thin metal plates from the out-flowing warm air. The opposite heat exchange occurs during the cooling months. This affords you the luxury of receiving fresh air without exerting significant wear and energy demand on your heating and cooling systems. 

A comfort-control device monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures, and adjusts the motorized duct doors accordingly to regulate the volume of ventilation your home receives. This further ensures optimal air-exchange rates to reduce energy consumption. 

Benefits of whole-house ventilation

In addition to replenishing indoor air with fresh air, whole-house ventilation boosts indoor air quality by filtering the air more often, without requiring the heating and cooling systems to be operating. This is vital for tightly sealed homes, which can quickly become havens for mold, germs, allergens, odors and more. If you have an attached garage, additional in-flowing contaminants may include carbon monoxide, benzene and pollutants from stored hazardous compounds.

Explore your ventilation options with an HVAC professional. Please contact us at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We've proudly served Mid-Ohio homeowners since 1965.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat recovery ventilators and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

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