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Energy-Recovery Ventilation: Exactly What Your Well-Insulated House Needs

Ventilation systems are ideal for homes that require a mechanical system to provide fresh air. In general, most ventilation systems provide an equal amount of supply air to return air, giving old, stale air a way out of the house and providing a means for fresh air to come in. Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) offer a balanced supply of return air, while increasing energy efficiency.

How does an ERV work? With a heat exchanger, at least one fan and a control panel, an ERV is designed to work with your heating and cooling system, and it shares the system’s ductwork as well (while ERVs can also have their own ductwork system, this is more costly to install). The fans in the ERV work to draw air and moisture out of the home, and then some of the energy in that air (either heated or cooled air) gets re-routed back into the home. And because it’s air that’s already been conditioned, the HVAC system has to work that much less. In the meantime, fresh air is drawn into the home, passing through the heat exchanger and then through the HVAC system, in order to be conditioned.

In this way, ERVs are estimated to be able to reuse up to 80 percent of the heated or cooled air in the exhausted air and deliver that energy into the air coming into the house. This makes ERVs a highly efficient ventilation system. ERVs do use electricity in order to operate; however, the savings they afford in climates like the San Joaquin Valley’s, where the cooling season is long, are offset by the system’s ability to reuse energy.

To get optimal results, make sure that there is a supply and return duct in every bedroom, and one for the most commonly used living spaces. If you’re sharing ductwork, this might be a good time to have any adjustments made, as the most economical results are derived from direct routes from A/C to supply grilles.

Take advantage of ERVs’ efficiency, and watch your comfort increase exponentially. Contact the experts at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioningfor more information about ERVs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy-recovery ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Donald P Dick Air Conditioning services the greater Fresno area in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!