a blue and red diagram with arrows showing the air inflow and outflow of a heat recovery ventilator

Traditional heating systems, such as HVAC units, are known for adversely affecting the indoor air quality in homes. For most homeowners, it’s a toss-up between choosing a warm house and fresh air, which is difficult because opening windows in the winter isn’t ideal either. 

Heat recovery ventilators can help with this dilemma because they increase ventilation and improve air quality, all without sacrificing your home’s ambient temperature. With new heat recovery ventilators (HRVs), you no longer have to choose between high-quality air and warmth. 

Are you trying to decide what HRV to get for your home? The HRV you choose can impact your home’s air quality, comfort, and energy bills.

Over the years, manufacturers have designed new heat recovery ventilators for different homes and needs. Not all systems will be compatible with your home. For more information on which HRV your home will require, we recommend getting in touch with a licensed contractor near you. 

It’s no secret that a properly-installed HRV system makes your home energy-efficient year-round. So without further ado, let’s discuss the best heat recovery ventilators for 2022.

10 Top Heat Recovery Ventilators

Zehnder’s Novus 300 (175 cfm)

Zehnder is a trusted name in the HVAC industry and has provided different types of HRV systems for passive homes in various parts of the world.

Its most recent entry, the Novus 300 ventilation unit, is one of the world’s most efficient models, boasting 93% efficiency. In addition, it is Passive House Institute-rated.  

Higher efficiency ensures the device is less prone to wear and tear. The automatic flow control on the intake and exhaust streams allows you to control how the machine works in humidity and air quality.

The Novus 300 comes with powerful ECM motors for balancing and energy efficiency, and frost protection and ERV modes. Its capacity is 175 cfm, making it one of the leading HRV products on the market. 

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Build Equinox CERV 

The CERV is a smart ventilation system designed to maximize comfort and improve indoor air quality in homes. 

A Build Equinox CERV HRV unit is show
Courtesy of Build Equinox

The CERV can improve your home’s ambient air with its proprietary Zone Configuration technology. Zone dampers installed in the ducts can be linked to switches and other devices, allowing the CERV to prioritize kitchen ventilation for different situations, such as cooking in the kitchen or showering in the bathroom. 

The CERV does not use an ERV exchanger core. Instead, it uses a high-efficiency heat pump to transfer heat between fresh air and outgoing exhaust. 

Furthermore, it utilizes advanced ECM fan technology to circulate fresh air within the house efficiently and quietly. 

All CERV units come with MERV 13. The CERV features a filter access panel that allows homeowners to monitor and replace defective filters. In addition, a full-color touchscreen enables users to interact with the CERV. 

The CERV also plays a role in dehumidification. It comes with CERV-ICE, an online control and monitoring tool that lets you check air quality settings from anywhere in the world using a simple mobile device. 

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

The Broan HE Series – HRV 250 TE

Broan provides several high-quality HRV and ERV models that are highly efficient and reliable. In addition, the systems are known for their quiet operation and comfort. 

One of its more recent entries, the HRV 250 TE, is specially designed for medium to large-sized residential spaces. 

A promo shot of the Broan HRV 250 TE
Courtesy of Brone Nutone

The system is ideal for colder climates and has a heat recovery efficiency of 66% when the outside temperature is -13 degrees Fahrenheit. More importantly, it uses a specially designed ECM motor that only consumes 18 W of power from the grid, making it one of the more energy-efficient HRV units. 

It comes with optional HEPA filtration that can capture up to 99.97% allergens in the air, including microscopic particles, to lower your risk of respiratory problems. 

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Broan HRV80S HRV with Side Ports 

Broan is a trusted name in the HVAC industry specializing in home ventilation units and HRV systems for years now. So it comes as no surprise that it has been featured for the second time on this list.

The HRV80S system provides a controlled way of ventilating a space while minimizing energy loss. In addition, the unit is durable, relatively easy to maintain, and backed up by a warranty.

In terms of heat transfer, it would be hard to find a better HRV system for residential homes. It utilizes heat from the indoor air to make the incoming fresh slightly warmer, making the whole house more energy-efficient and lowering your bill. 

The Broan Flex series is ideal for homes and apartments where space is limited, and ventilation is necessary. The Flex Series features a compact design for ease of installation, saving you the cost of labor.  It weighs only 30 lbs, allowing you to install it without opening the unit. 

You can buy the HRV80S on Amazon here (subject to availability).

Honeywell VNT5150E1000 Truefresh 150 CFM

Honeywell offers several different HRV models designed for both commercial buildings and residential homes. One of its flagship products is the Truefresh VNT5150E1000 series.

This unit uses Honeywell’s Balanced Ventilation System to reduce the need for overhead ducting, making installation affordable for homeowners on a budget. This unique approach simplifies installation as well as maintenance.

A side profile of the Honeywell VNT5150E1000 Truefresh heat recovery ventilator
Courtesy of Honeywell

The HRV features a streamlined design that uses the heat from exhausted air to increase the temperature of incoming fresh air, making it ideal for the harsh winter months. The HRV also optimizes airflow by exchanging stale air for fresher air. 

It can filter out pollutants such as carbon monoxide and lingering odors from cooking, smoke, and more. In addition, the lightweight and compact design allows the HRV to work with your existing HVAC unit. 

The unit comes with a five-year limited warranty on the unit and its components. 

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Fantech Flex 104 CFM HRV 

The Fantech line includes many high-quality HRV units known for their guaranteed performance and a great warranty. The Fantech Flex 100H ES series has recirculation defrost capabilities and includes four top ports and five ducts. 

The unit is ideal for single-family homes, multi-family homes, apartment buildings, and townhouses. This product aims to make your HVAC systems more efficient by transferring the heat between outside and inside air for better ventilation. 

The Fantech Flex is designed with a built-in TurboTouch feature that increases exhaust capacity by 50%. 

A closer look at its design shows an aluminum heat recovery core that improves heat transfer capacity while also taking less space than regular cores. The unique design also allows the heat recovery cores to withstand significant variations in temperatures. 

The Fantech Flex is ideal for climates where the temperature changes very quickly, supported by Fantech’s proprietary technology, Winter Guard Defrost. It works by automatically adjusting the recirculation defrost sequence without depressurizing your home, allowing for a seamless transition between Defrost and Ventilation modes. 

A conveniently located access panel makes maintenance simple and easy while reducing the cost of labor.

You can buy this HRV system on Amazon here.  

VENTS-US Micra 150 Single-Room HRV

The Micra 150 single-room heat recovery ventilator is a lesser-known device prized for its efficiency and relative affordability. It is designed to only provide ventilation for a single room in residential and commercial properties.

The EC motors feature forward-curved blades to improve air supply and exhaust and feature built-in overheating protection for extra durability.

Thanks to EC technologies, the Micra 150 runs on low energy.

Its heat exchanger utilizes an advanced plate counter-flow polystyrene recovery core with a heat exchange efficiency of 85-88%. This technology allows the exchanger to use the heat energy to increase the intake air temperature while lowering the HVAC system’s operating load. 

The unit also has a control panel that includes a remote control device. It supports three operation modes: 

  • First speed – air capacity of up to 35 CFM
  • Second speed – air capacity of up to 53 CFM
  • Third speed – air capacity of up to 71 CFM

Depending on their needs, homeowners can choose to deploy just one or several MICRA 150 units throughout their house for ventilation. Each unit can serve an area spanning 1200 sq. feet. 

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

VTRONIC Wall Mounted Ductless Ventilation System 

VTRONIC Technology is a lesser-known Chinese manufacturer that specializes in HVAC systems. They are known for providing ventilation systems that are highly efficient while making very minimal noise. Their most recent line of products, the wall-mounted HEPA ventilation systems utilize a novel adjustable length duct regulated by an inner duct. 

A closeup of the VTRONIC Wall Mounted Ductless Ventilation System 
Courtesy of Amazon

The HRV system features three filters to clean up fresh air from the outside. It does all of this without making a peep at a maximum of 30dB due to the use of high-performing brushless motors and a wall-mounted, fully sealed design. 

The unit is incredibly energy-efficient and draws under six watts of power. It is worth noting that the unit can operate for capacities of up to 35 CFM, making it ideal for residential purposes only. The VTRONIC comes with a fully functional remote control that allows users to control various functions.

It is backed by a one-year warranty. 

Click here to check prices. 

Aprilaire Model 8100 – ERV system 

Aprilaire provides a wide range of air quality solutions in North America, and has been in business since 1938, innovating with the latest humidifiers.

Its recent whole-home Model 8100 ventilation system is arguably one of the most energy-efficient ERV systems in the world. It works by exchanging the air inside your home with fresh air from outside. 

The 8100 can be controlled with a thermostat, allowing users to ventilate their homes on a schedule. 

All units will reduce air pollutants such as bacteria, odors, and viruses. The devices are compatible with homes up to 4,500 square feet in size and reduce indoor humidity levels for a higher degree of comfort at a lower cost.

Maintenance costs remain low because the device is made with highly durable parts. This is also why the unit has a five-year warranty.  

The device is fully compatible in both the summer and winter seasons for year-round comfort. 

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information. 

Vents US DVUT 300 HB EC Commercial HRV/ERV  

We’re getting serious with the DVUE 300 HB HRV unit. This mammoth of a device is designed for commercial installations in schools, offices, and other public spaces. It has a whopping 341 CFM air capacity and a heat recovery efficiency of up to 97%. 

The best part is that it does not require a duct system and provides very efficient ventilation for newly built offices. Instead of a duct system, the unit supplies fresh air through a centrifugal supply fan. This simple design provides users with precise control of the indoor air. 

Special MERV8 panel filters provide air purification, but they can be upgraded with HEPA filters for stringent air quality requirements. 

All DVUT units feature a heat exchanger made of either aluminum or polystyrene. The heat from the extracted air is transferred to the incoming air with the help of the heat exchanger, significantly reducing heat losses and your energy bills. The unit is designed for warm and cold weather.

Click here to visit the manufacturer’s website for more information. 

Conclusion – The Best HRV System for You 

HRV and HVAC systems can work wonders for the ambient air in your home. But the trick is to choose the suitable unit for you. 

Make sure to buy your HRV system based on compatibility, meaning you need to consider the following various factors: 

  • Whether you opt for the entire house or a single room
  • Make and model of the unit
  • If the system is being installed in a new home or an older home
  • Style of system you chose
  • Existing ductwork (very important)
  • Labor and materials required
  • The systems’ efficiency (high-efficiency systems can cost more)
  • Where you live 

The price of each unit depends on where you live. We have provided a link to each device, but its availability may depend on your location.

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