erv vs hrv

ERV vs HRV Systems: What Is the Difference?

As seasoned experts in the heating, cooling and air care industry, we know how important it is to choose the right ventilation system for your property. We also recognize that with so many options for so many things, it can be hard to know which system to choose. 

When people hear ERV vs HRV, they often think, “Aw man, another thing I have to choose for my home?” Don’t worry, the pros at Anderson are here to help. 

For starters, this post will walk you through the basics of what Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) and Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems are, the differences, and some things to consider when choosing between them. 

Anderson Air is committed to providing our customers with the best air care in the business. If you have any further questions after reading this article, feel free to contact us

What are HRV and ERV systems? 

Both are ventilation systems that can significantly improve the indoor air quality in a home or building. They exchange the polluted, stale indoor air with fresh, clean outdoor air and simultaneously preserve the heat released from the expelled air to help warm or cool the incoming air. Quite the multitasking job! 

These systems benefit indoor air quality by providing fresh air without compromising the efficiency of the HVAC system. 

HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) systems prioritize maintaining indoor warmth. As such, they are best suited for moderate and colder climates, where the heat from the air that gets pushed outside is used to warm the cold air coming in.

ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation) systems work best for extreme climates, such as warm and very humid, or very cold and extremely dry conditions, since these systems recover heat and moisture to help balance humidity levels indoors. 

Both systems are becoming more popular in modern homes/buildings as they are incredibly helpful in creating a comfortable, healthy indoor environment. 

Why does my home need proper ventilation?

Proper ventilation is crucial to creating an enjoyable living environment. The lack of it can quickly make indoor environments damp, unhealthy, unsafe and uncomfortable. Ventilation helps circulate fresh air throughout the house while simultaneously clearing away stale air that could be laden with pollutants and allergens. 

It’s a natural way to purify your air, removing odors while also minimizing the presence of toxic gasses like carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and radon gas.  

Proper airflow can help reduce moisture build-up that can lead to mold and mildew and cause structural issues in your home. Ventilation regulates temperature and humidity levels, making it more energy-efficient and comfortable for you and your family.

Ventilation is like how your body sweats. Your body releases unwanted heat and toxins to regulate its insides and keep everything working properly. In the same way, your home needs a similar form of release for the benefit of your HVAC unit but, more importantly, your health! 

Will either system connect to my HVAC unit directly?

When discussing ventilation systems, many homeowners often ask how these systems work with their HVAC units. 

As previously discussed, these systems allow your home to vent stale or potentially toxic air out. Installed either within the ductwork or near an air handler, ventilation systems can easily transfer the heat energy from the outgoing air to the incoming air. 

These systems are built to work alongside your HVAC unit, delivering fresh air while helping maintain an ideal indoor temperature.

Both ERV and HRV systems can integrate with smart thermostats for enhanced control over your energy consumption and air quality.

Which type of system is right for my home? Factors to consider 

In order to determine which system to invest in, there are a few factors to consider, including your climate and your ventilation needs. 

Climate and moisture levels

Consider the climate and humidity in your region, as these will affect which system you choose. HRV systems are better for colder, drier climates – they focus on transferring the heat from stale air to fresh, new air.  

ERV systems may be more suitable in climates with extreme temperatures, like warmer, more humid climates (like Arkansas) or very cold, dry climates, since these systems transfer moisture and heat to keep your indoor humidity levels comfortable. If your summers are humid and your winters are dry and cold, ask a professional about installing an ERV system. 

Home ventilation needs: Home size and number of people 

When selecting an HRV or ERV system for your home’s ventilation needs, consider the size and the number of residents you have living with you. 

Medium to smaller homes and those with more residents require more airflow, so an HRV system can be beneficial. Larger homes and those with fewer residents might prefer an ERV system because its adjustable air flow can meet individual requirements better.

Energy efficiency 

Both HRV and ERV systems offer energy-efficient ventilation solutions for homes. 

That said, the overall efficiency can vary as different manufacturers have different models and features. When making this comparison, be mindful of both your budget and long-term energy savings goals.

Maintenance requirements

Like any other system, ventilation systems need regular maintenance to function at their best. However, the degree of upkeep varies from system to system, so note your manufacturer’s instructions. On average, both systems will need their filter replaced once every 6 to 12 months. 

These are just a few common factors to consider when investing in a ventilation system. For an in-depth, personalized recommendation on which system your home needs, ask an HVAC technician. They will provide you with professional advice so you can enjoy comfort in your own home. 

When it comes to your home’s air care, leave it to Anderson Air. 

When choosing any type of home system, it’s important to consider all the factors, especially maintenance, cost, and efficiency. 

Both HRV and ERV systems offer unique benefits in improving indoor air quality and conserving energy, making them excellent choices for any space. 

At Anderson Air, we specialize in everything in air care, from heating and air conditioning to ventilation and air purification. If you aren’t sure which system is right for your Arkansas home, let us help you. Schedule an appointment today and experience the Anderson Air difference. 

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