Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV)

In this Practical Sustainability Design Minute, John and Matthew highlight the advantages of installing HRV units in residential homes in North America.

  • Anonymous

    Would it be used only to feed fresh air to a furnace (hot air heating system)or does it provide fresh air exchanges for room air regardless of heating system? Is it recommended for an old leaky house?

  • Matthew North

    Thanks for your questions! HRV’s can be used with a forced air (furnace system) or with a radiant heating system (either infloor heat or radiant baseboard heaters). I am going to post the two HRV system diagrams to this site tomorrow for you to have a look at – we had to edit them out to make our segment fit into the time requirement. The diagrams show how an HRV is integrated into the mechanical system with forced air or radiant heat. In a leaky house, the air movement from outside to inside is more dispersed – through windows, doors, roof, walls etc. It would therefore be advisable to address the envelope at the same time the mechanical system is upgraded to maximize overall long term efficiency.

  • Matthew North

    Here is a system diagram of an HRV in home with a radiant heat system.

  • Matthew North

    Here is a system diagram of an HRV in a home with a forced air system.

  • Fiona

    Here’s a link to an interesting link ( http://www.build-green.com/blog/one-planet/hrv-or-erv/ )to discussion on the blog about a renovation in an older part of Ottawa – where they are renovating according to the One Planet Communities framework (chosen over LEED). Given the humidity of Ottawa in the summer, they have selected an ERV over and HRV – forgoing a bit of winter efficiency for summer comfort.