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Energy Recovery Vent (ERV)

What is an ERV?

ERVs were introduced as “air-to-air” heat exchangers in the colder regions of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Scandinavia over a decade ago. In these areas, tightly-built modern houses were developing problems with indoor air quality and excessive humidity during the winter. The air-to-air heat exchanger brings in fresh outside air to combat these problems, and preheats it at the same time. These products are now also called heat recovery ventilators or HRVs which both preheat and precool outside air.

When would I need an ERV?

While it may seem counterintuitive, a properly built and well insulated green home should require installation of an ERV. A tightly built well insulated house should allow less than 0.5 air exchanges per hour, the level at which normal pollutants generated in the home can accumulate and reduce the indoor air quality to unhealthful levels.

Your ERV will typically be installed in your basement as close to your main HVAC return duct as possible. Small input and output lines are connected from the outside of you home to the input and output connections of the ERV. On the other side of the ERV, small ductwork will then be connected to your main HVAC suppy and return ducts.

What is the cost?

An ERV costs between $1,000 and $1,500 installed. This one time up front cost is more than offset by the energy savings achieved by "sealing the envelope" of your green home.

Typical Energy Recovery Vent Installation

Energy Recovery Vent

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