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Critical Differences Between ERV and HRV Air Exchange Systems

If you want to improve your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), there are a variety of ways to do that. Two popular choices include heat recovery ventilators, or HRVs, and energy recovery ventilators, or ERVs. The two systems work so similarly that many homeowners don’t even know the difference. Some people think that the two terms are interchangeable for the same type of system. 

While they do have a lot of things in common, HRVs and ERVs are also very different. If you want to learn about ERV vs HRV systems in Federal Way, WA, our team can help. In fact, we are the local experts. Keep reading to learn about the key differences between these two types of air exchange systems. 

System Commonalities

If you’ve heard of these two terms, but don’t know exactly what the systems do, you may want to first understand how they are similar. Both of them are designed to recover energy from your home’s exhaust air.

Your system then converts that energy into either heating or cooling air that is coming into your home. It’s a way to reduce the burden on your HVAC unit by preheating or pre-cooling air before it enters your home. It’s a great way to lightly condition fresh outdoor air while also improving your HVAC energy efficiency.

These systems improve your indoor air quality by bringing in fresh air from the outside and removing stale air. It’s easy for indoor air to grow stale and recirculate germs and allergens through your home continually. When you have a stream of fresh air coming into your home, you reduce these germs and allergens. 

Heat Recovery Ventilator

An HRV system uses heat in the outgoing exhaust air to preheat air coming into your house. In the summer, the heat from air coming into your house gets transferred over to the exhaust air as a method of cooling. Keep in mind that outgoing exhaust air and incoming air never actually mix. The system just works to exchange heat through conduction. The energy recovered through this process is estimated to be between 55% and 75%. 

Energy Recovery Ventilator

An ERV system works the same way, but it takes indoor air quality a step further by also helping to balance humidity levels. In this case, outgoing air and incoming air actually do mix so that moisture can either transfer outside your home in the summer when the humidity is higher, or inside your home in the winter when the humidity is lower. 

Choosing an HRV or ERV depends on your unique needs. Keep in mind that an HRV can increase your humidity level slightly in the summer. If you want to improve your indoor air quality, either system will help you. If you already live in a humid climate, you may want to go with an ERV in that case. You might also consider an ERV if your home is particularly dry in the winter. 

Contact Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. today to schedule an appointment! We take your comfort as seriously as you do.

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