The core component of an the system is the heat exchanger, which allows heat to be transferred from the warm air leaving the building to the cold air entering it, without the two air streams mixing.
Wall-mounted Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) are ventilation systems designed to improve indoor air quality while also recovering a portion of the energy that would otherwise be lost during the ventilation process. These units are installed on walls and are particularly suitable for spaces where a central HVAC system might not be feasible or where localized ventilation is needed.
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) are ventilation systems that use heat exchangers to improve indoor air quality while also recovering a portion of the energy that would otherwise be lost during the ventilation process. These systems are particularly useful in climates where outdoor temperatures are significantly different from indoor temperatures.
Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) is an energy-efficient ventilation strategy used in buildings to adjust the rate of ventilation based on the actual occupancy and indoor air quality (IAQ) conditions. Instead of providing a constant and fixed ventilation rate, DCV systems modulate the ventilation based on factors such as the number of occupants, pollutants, humidity, and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the indoor environment.
10 Benefits of the Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) and Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)
1. Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ):
ERV and HRV systems provide a continuous supply of fresh outdoor air while expelling stale indoor air. This helps maintain a healthier indoor environment by reducing the concentration of pollutants, odors, and contaminants.
2. Energy Efficiency:
Both ERV and HRV systems recover a portion of the energy that would otherwise be lost through ventilation. They use heat exchangers to transfer heat from the outgoing indoor air to the incoming outdoor air.
In heating seasons, recovered heat helps pre-condition the incoming cold air, reducing the load on the heating system.
In cooling seasons, ERV systems can also transfer moisture, reducing the load on the cooling system by dehumidifying the incoming air.
3. Reduced Heating and Cooling Costs:
By recovering heat in the winter and coolness in the summer, ERV and HRV systems help maintain a more stable indoor temperature. This reduces the need for excessive heating or cooling, resulting in energy cost savings.
4. Humidity Control:
ERV systems can transfer moisture in addition to heat. This helps maintain balanced indoor humidity levels, preventing issues such as condensation, mold growth, and discomfort.
7. Compliance with Building Codes:
Many building codes and standards recommend or require a certain level of ventilation. ERV and HRV systems can help buildings meet these ventilation requirements while still achieving energy savings.
9. Preservation of Indoor Heat/Coolness:
In cold climates, HRV systems help retain indoor heat during ventilation, making it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature.
In hot and humid climates, ERV systems can remove excess humidity from incoming air, improving indoor comfort.
10 STEPS TO INSTALLING Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) and Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)
- Calculate the ventilation requirements based on the building's size, occupancy, and local codes.
- Determine the appropriate ERV/HRV unit size based on the calculated ventilation needs and the expected heat recovery efficiency.
- Choose a suitable location for installing the ERV/HRV unit. Typically, this should be a central location with easy access to both indoor and outdoor air intakes and exhausts.
- Design the ductwork layout for air distribution, considering supply and exhaust connections to various rooms and areas in the building.
- Plan the route for the outdoor and exhaust ducts to ensure optimal airflow and minimize obstructions.
- Install the ductwork according to the planned layout, making sure to insulate the ducts properly to prevent heat loss or gain.
- Install outdoor air intake and exhaust vents. The outdoor air intake should be placed in a location with minimal outdoor pollutants, and the exhaust vent should direct stale air away from the building.
- Mount the ERV/HRV unit on a stable surface in the chosen location. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for clearances and installation instructions.
- Connect the ERV/HRV unit to the electrical supply following the manufacturer's instructions. This includes connecting the unit to power and any necessary control wiring.
- Connect the supply and exhaust ducts to the appropriate ports on the ERV/HRV unit. Ensure proper sealing to prevent air leaks.
- If your system includes a condensate drain, ensure that it is properly connected to the ERV/HRV unit and that it drains away from the unit and the building's foundation.
- Set up the controls for the ERV/HRV system, including setting desired ventilation rates, fan speeds, and other parameters.
- Once the system is installed, balance the airflow by adjusting dampers and registers to ensure even air distribution throughout the building.
- Perform system tests to ensure that the ERV/HRV unit is functioning properly and effectively transferring heat or moisture.
- Insulate any exposed ducts to prevent heat loss or gain and ensure efficient energy recovery.
- Seal all duct connections, joints, and openings to prevent air leaks that could compromise system efficiency.
- Provide the building owner with information about proper operation, maintenance, and cleaning of the ERV/HRV system. This includes regular filter replacement and cleaning to ensure optimal performance.
- Ensure that the installation complies with local building codes and regulations.
- If required, schedule inspections to verify the installation's compliance and safety.