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AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Blog

How Does an Energy Recovery Ventilator Work?

In effort to keep houses energy efficient, some households have run into a new kind of problem: having proper ventilation during the cold winter months and hot summer months. Good ventilation is important to having healthy indoor air quality, but opening a window isn’t really an option. So how can you improve your home ventilation without compromising, and even improving, your energy efficiency? Consider the installation of an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) in your Hilton Head home.

What Is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

An ERV is a ventilation device that installs directly onto your HVAC system – but it doesn’t just blow out old air and bring in new air: it uses the latent energy of your outgoing air to pre-treat the incoming air.

How Does It Work?

An ERV is a medium-sized, rectangular-shaped device that has two openings on each side; these openings allow the outgoing stale air to exit your home while a small fan draws fresh, outdoor air inside. It’s what happens inside the ERV that makes it so worthwhile: inside the ERV is a heat exchanger. When the two air streams meet in the heat exchanger, the energy from the outgoing stale air is used to treat the incoming fresh air. What does this mean? During the winter, latent heat energy and moisture from your warm, outgoing air is applied to the cool, fresh incoming air; this makes it warmer and moister, taking some of the load off your heating system. In the summer, the outgoing cool, dry air cools and dehumidifies the incoming warm fresh air for your air conditioning system. The result in either season is fresh, pre-treated air for your home.

Benefits

The first major benefit to gain from the installation of an ERV is energy efficiency. This is because the pre-treatment of the air can take a significant load of work off your HVAC system, which allows it to run more efficiently. A second benefit comfort: not only does your indoor air quality improve, but it’s easier for your system to reach the set temperature with the pre-treated air. Lastly, the reduction in stress on your system can help extend the life of your equipment.

If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your indoor air quality, it may be time to take a look at an energy recovery ventilator for your Hilton Head home.

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