Energy Recovery Ventilators Make for a More Efficient Household

Home energy efficiency is extremely important, not only¬†during the summer when temperatures are high, but during the cold winters as well. The better a home can retain the heating and cooling energy generated by its HVAC system, the more comfortable its residents will feel and the more money you’ll save on monthly bills. There are a number of upgrades and similar features you can install to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and if you have an attic or similar space, there’s one we highly recommend: an energy recovery ventilator.


Energy recovery ventilators, or ERVs, operate according to reasonably simple principles. The system consists of two air ducts each with a fan on one end. One duct blows air out of the home, while another duct pulls air into the home from outside. The two ducts never cross, but a heat exchanger in the middle swaps their temperatures, ensuring that the incoming air is as cool as the outgoing air (or as warm as the outgoing air in the winter.)


When temperatures get hot in the summer, you don’t want to open your doors or windows more than is absolutely necessary in order to preserve the cool air created by your air conditioner. That’s a sound premise, but it has a few drawbacks. It can make the air in your home very stale as it circulates through your HVAC system over and over. If you bring germs or bacteria in from the outside, they too will circulate, passing easily from family member to family member and increasing the risk of an illness. That comes on top of the general stagnation of the air, which you can’t normally disperse by opening a window in the heat of the day.

ERVs take care of that without forcing you to open your doors or windows. That keeps your air fresh and clean, as well as cutting down on the spread of germs through your household. And because it works in the winter as well as the summer, you can enjoy the benefits year ‘round.

But it goes beyond that, to the overall efficiency of the air conditioner itself. The heat transfer helps ease the burden on the system: allowing it to do its job and keep your home cool without using quite so much energy. That trend is accentuated by the fact that you don’t have to open the doors or windows to air your home out. As a result, your home stays cooler longer and the air conditioner will get a rest in its endless task of fighting off those high temperatures. Not only will that lower the energy costs of running your HVAC system, but it will cut down on wear and tear as well: reducing the risks of a breakdown. Over time, it could even extend the life of your air conditioner and ensure that you make the most out of it before you need to invest in another system.