ERVs, short for Energy Recovery Ventilators, address one of the facts of living in a tightly-sealed, energy-efficient home: If conditioned air can’t escape, fresh outside air can’t get in, either. Lack of ventilation is an issue in homes designed to conserve energy. Indoor air becomes stagnant, humidity accumulates and airborne particulates and contaminants increase. Opening windows or doors, however, exhausts cool, conditioned air along with stale air and increases cooling costs. Here’s how the technology incorporated in ERVs solve the problem:
Balanced ventilation. Utilizing dedicated ductwork and blower fans, an ERV exhausts stale household air in exactly the same volume as it intakes outdoor air. Household air is drawn from kitchen and utility rooms while fresh air is delivered to bedrooms and family rooms. This preserves the neutral balance of air pressure inside the home, the optimum condition for cooling and heating.
Heat exchange. In the central unit containing the independent blower fans, the incoming and outgoing ducts share a common heat exchanger. Outdoor heat energy is removed from the incoming air stream and transferred to outgoing air. Indoor coolness is preserved while still adding fresh outdoor air. The heat exchange process occurs without any mixing of the air streams.
Humidity extraction. Outside air is not only hotter than indoor air, it’s often more humid, as well. Because humid air holds more heat energy and feels warmer, your air conditioner works hard to extract humidity from the air as part of the cooling and conditioning process. To keep outdoor humidity outdoors while still ventilating with fresh air, an ERV utilizes a process called enthalpy transfer to extract humidity from incoming air and add it to stale air being exhausted. This maintains low humidity in living spaces for maximum indoor comfort.
Energy efficiency. ERVs utilize efficient, variable-speed ECM motor technology. Most consume only about as much electricity as a 75-watt light bulb.
For more than 50 years, Amarillo Air Conditioning has helped homeowners solve indoor comfort issues in all seasons. Ask us about more of the benefits of ERVs to increase ventilation and decrease humidity in summer without straining your energy budget.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ERVs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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