Heat Recovery Ventilation

What do I need to know about HRV’s?

Not much. Clean the screens on the outside of the building, and clean the filters inside the ventilator. Keep it plugged in.

Okay, that’s what you NEED to know. The following is stuff you might want to know, such as how they work and such.

Is the picture too small? The guts of the thing are in the middle, labeled “heat exchange core”. Cold air from outside passes through the core, and gets heated up by warm air leaving the house. The air streams don’t mix, but the heat gets transferred using magic. Just kidding. The heat gets transferred using science. (Okay, fine. Thermodynamics. Happy now?)

The unit is usually hung by chains from the ceiling in the basement, so that the fan(s) don’t vibrate the floor. There are a couple of black or grey filters that are easy to see on the inside. Wash them monthly in warm, sudsy water. The heat exchange core should be cleaned yearly, using a garden hose (NOT a power washer!) outside, like on the driveway. The screened openings on the outside of the house look like the combustion air vents, and need to be kept clear of lint and wasp nests. Check those regularly. That’s about it.

You can expect to save a measurable amount of heat costs in a house where these are installed. The Minnesota Sustainable something something says that payback for installing one is less than 10 years, so there’s that. You can learn more by visiting their website. Click: Here.

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