How Energy Recovery Ventilators Work in Hampstead, NC

Ventilation plays a crucial role in effectively heating and cooling your Hampstead, NC home. While basic ventilation will do the job, you can get so much more from an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV. Discover how this type of ventilator works, and the extended benefits they bring to your home.

Understanding HVAC Energy Loss

It’s important to understand how HVAC systems lose energy through ventilation before getting into how energy recovery ventilators work. Every system loses energy, both in heating and cooling. Reducing that energy loss improves your system’s efficiency.

When you’re running your cooling system, you lose energy by sucking in warm outside air through your ventilation. That additional warm air raises the temperature throughout your home, causing your AC to work harder to cool your home.

When it comes to heating, the largest energy loss isn’t your home leaking in cool air. Rather, it’s the loss of unused heat created during your heating cycle that escapes with the furnace exhaust.

What Energy Recovery Ventilators Do

Home ventilation exchanges old air inside with fresh air from outside. This exchange is critical to keeping the air inside healthy and your HVAC system running efficiently.

An energy recovery ventilator does this job but takes it a step further. It’s equipped with two fans to both draw fresh air in and push old air out. However, it’s also equipped with a type of heat exchanger.

As the air flows through it, the air inside and the air outside transfers heat. In the summer, the outbound indoor air cools down the fresh air before it reaches the evaporator coil. In the winter, the exhaust warms the incoming air before it reaches the heater.

As the name suggests, ERVs recover energy that it would otherwise lose. You’ll experience the following benefits when you install an ERV into your HVAC system.

Boost Energy Efficiency

Improved energy efficiency is the reason most people invest in an ERV. The Department of Energy suggests you can recover between 70% and 80% of the energy in your exiting air. Improved efficiency translates into both reduced utility costs and fewer heating or AC repairs.

More Effective Humidity Control

One of the challenges of living near the coast is controlling the humidity, especially during the summer. Uncontrolled humidity creates health problems and decreases AC efficiency.

Your air conditioner already pulls some humidity from the air by condensing it on the cold evaporator coil. An energy recovery ventilator effectively transfers some of the moisture to the dry air venting out. This improves the overall humidity control in your home, adding to the larger effect of your AC.

Better Indoor Air Quality

The EPA also offers that indoor air contains anywhere from two to five times more contaminants than the outside air. Those contaminants include gases like ozone, carbon monoxide, radon, and volatile organic compounds. Effectively ventilating your home helps remove these contaminants, making your air healthier for your family.

Help Rid Unwanted Odors

Every home has a particular aroma to it, and sometimes it’s not all that pleasing. If your home has a constant musty smell or the smell of food lingers for a long time, it’s a sign you have poor ventilation.

Energy recovery ventilators mechanically move air using fans rather than relying on natural ventilation. This often provides more air exchange with the outside, providing more effective odor control.

Consistent and Controlled Ventilation

Natural ventilation uses temperature differences to create suction to draw in and push out air. This can be done using open windows, for instance, but is also how roof vents work. The venters under the eaves draw in cool air while the roof vents allow hot air to escape.

Natural ventilation is unreliable compared to mechanical ventilation and may not circulate enough air. By using mechanical fans, you get a more consistent exchange between the air inside and the air outside.

Equip your home to give you the most efficient heating and cooling possible. Call to schedule your indoor air quality consultation with an expert at Airmax Heating and Cooling to discuss ERVs today.

Image provided by iStock

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