An up close shot of someone adjusting the interface of a heat recovery ventilator system

With advancements in technology, individuals’ general quality of life and productivity levels have also drastically improved. One such development that has aided this is the presence of ventilation systems in homes and facilities—specifically, heat recovery ventilators. 

The name may seem complicated, but you need not worry. The heat recovery ventilator (HRV) system is intended to make air ventilation efficient, providing a high return on investment. 

It essentially seeks to improve air quality in your home and regulates heat, moisture, and humidity levels. So if you are sick of frequent allergy flare-ups and mold outbreaks, an HRV can be the answer to all your worries. You will likely see an almost immediate improvement in your health and lifestyle with an HRV! 

This article will answer the critical question of whether heat recovery ventilators recover heat and, if so, how they do it. So let’s get started without any delay, shall we? 

What is a Heat Recovery Ventilator? 

Heat recovery ventilators are ventilation systems designed to help improve the air quality in your home or facility. It does this by exchanging air from the inside with outside air.

A heat recovery ventilator exchange component and vents on a home's exterior

Additionally, a heat recovery ventilator has a specific mechanism that works to ensure the air coming inside is heated and warm enough to maintain the level of warmth in your home. This is why HRVs are often referred to as a mechanical ventilation heat recovery, i.e., MVHR system—it seeks to transfer air between two areas with varying temperatures. 

The HRV system is generally installed in the home or building’s core unit and comes with an intricate system of vents, which act as channels to exchange fresh and stale air via the presence of blower fans. HRVs can be used for both residential properties and commercial facilities. 

Does an HRV Recover Heat? 

The answer to this question is yes. HRVs can recover heat and do a lot more to improve air quality. On average, an HRV can recover up to 85% of heat. This heat is in the outgoing airstream, i.e., the air being extracted from your home.

But, that’s not all. The HRV can also keep your home cool in the hot summer months through the presence of a bypass.

This process allows cooler air from the outside to enter your home and keep you cool and free of moisture and humidity. You can have this installed by your service provider or purchase an HRV system that comes with a bypass fixture already included in the package. 

Heat recovery ventilators also work great in geographic regions with extreme differences between indoor and outdoor temperatures. From freezing winter months to hot and humid summer months, the HRV is sure to work optimally, recovering heat efficiently when it’s cooler and keeping humidity and heat at bay during the summer. 

How HRVs Recovers Heat – The Breakdown 

The best way to explain how HRVs work is by drawing a simple analogy.

HRVs can be described as the noses of any property or home. This analogy is because they consist of two ventilation ducts.

These ducts are placed where they run congruent throughout the property. While one vent is responsible for carrying and passing cool and fresh air, the other is responsible for moving and drawing out stale or moist air. 

A heat recovery ventilator vents in a home's attic.

These vents have a device placed between them, called the heat exchange, which is where the magic happens. The heat exchanger allows the outgoing air to pass on the heat present to the incoming air. The air streams also do not mix, thus allowing the stale and moist air to be drawn out without mixing with the incoming fresh air.

The heat exchanger and blower also regulate moisture and humidity levels, keeping your home dry during periods of high humidity or during the rainy season. Now, isn’t this something that is worth the money!

Tips on Ensuring Your HRV Recovers Heat Effectively 

If you invest in an HRV, prolonging its lifespan is essential because the HRV can come with a hefty price tag. They can cost anywhere between $1000–$5,000 and up depending on HRV type, your property’s size, and installation cost in your region.

To ensure that this investment is worth it, there are a few things to consider to guarantee your HRV operates efficiently and stays with you for a while. On average, HRVs last up to 15 years, given the proper care and maintenance. 

Here are some of the ways to ensure your HRV provides you this longevity and recovers heat most effectively:

  • Have the HRV installed by a professional and reliable service provider. Professional installation is vital in preventing any mishaps and signs of malfunctioning later. The installation cost may be high, but getting it done efficiently and optimally is essential.
  • Clean your HRV filters every two to six months to ensure optimal performance. You can hire a professional service provider to do this for you. Trying to clean it yourself without prior experience can damage the filter. 
  • Schedule regular maintenance appointments. Delaying these can cause your HRV filters to become clogged with dust and dirt, thus, impacting its function and your home’s air quality. In addition, it can potentially begin to introduce pollution and debris into your home.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of damage or wear and tear and address them immediately. For example, if your home starts smelling musty, has frequent mold outbreaks, or you constantly find moisture on surfaces, call a service provider and have your HRV inspected and repaired. 

Benefits of an HRV 

A heat recovery ventilator can do wonders in improving your quality of life and health. Let’s look at some of the benefits they offer and what makes them worth the investment long term. 

  • Ensure the presence of clean and fresh air in your home at all times.
  • Helps save energy and reduces utility costs in the long run as demand is diminished.
  • Keeps you and your loved ones healthier. You can expect a drop in allergy flare-ups, flu cases, skin concerns, and respiratory illnesses, helping save you from frequent trips to the ER and cutting down medical expenses.
  • Heat recovery ventilators are known to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, something key in helping prevent mold outbreaks. As a result, you can save yourself from mold remediation services and potential black mold poisoning.
  • HRVs ensure your home has an even temperature throughout. Say goodbye to spaces in your home that are extremely warm or cold during different seasons. 
  • Prevents odor and foul smells from lingering around in your home, especially if you have pets in the house.
  • An HRV system will also add value to your property’s resale price. 

Final Thoughts 

The HRV can do wonders for your home. You can now live a stress-free, healthy, and productive life without having to worry about the health of your loved ones. You can also say goodbye to the stubborn mold outbreaks in your kitchen or basement.

However, before buying a heat recovery ventilator, be sure to research HRV types and their specifications. You can also convey your concerns and needs to a service provider.

Additionally, have the HRV installed in a few rooms instead of the entire house. This ventilation is as flexible and versatile as it can get. But, again, discussing these with a professional service provider can help you pick the best unit for your home and ensure a high return on your investment. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with a home performance expert, and achieve a healthier life in no time!

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