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Are you challenged to ensure adequate ventilation as you continually tighten building envelopes? How do you help ensure proper airflow while also conserving energy and minimizing a building’s environmental footprint? This brings us to Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)!

An ERV system has exactly the same capabilities as an HRV (heat recovery ventilator) system. What the ERV does, that the HRV doesn’t, is take advantage of the energy that’s contained within the airflow. When a substance changes state while staying at an even temperature it produces latent heat.

For example, think of filling a pan with water that’s at room temperature. Then you turn the stove on providing the heat for the water to absorb energy and to increase in temperature. As the temperature increases and approaches 100℃, it goes through a phase change turning from liquid to gas.

Now, consider HVAC systems…

You force water out of the air when it’s humid in the summer, and in the winter you force water into the air. That’s where most of your energy consumption lies in an average building. With an ERV, you’ll capture not only the energy savings of the heat exchange, but also the latent energy of the water, or humidity, in the air.

This characteristic of an ERV reduces your moisture control costs, while at the same time it reduces the temperature control portion of your energy bill. ERVs are adaptable to many climates and can generate savings on dehumidifying and on cooling costs.

Another benefit of ERVs is their ability to maintain a relative humidity of 40% to 50% indoors and can be maintained under all conditions. Furthermore, using energy recovery enables you to meet the ASHRAE ventilation and energy standards, while you improve the indoor air quality and reduce your total HVAC equipment capacity.

The ERV features a heat exchanger combined with a ventilation system that provides controlled ventilation into a building, and incorporates a method to remove excess humidity or add humidity to the air that’s brought into the building. It has the same capabilities as an HRV system but it dehumidifies the fresh airflow and takes advantage of the energy that’s contained within it.

The benefits of an ERV system are significant. When your HVAC system incorporates energy recovery, it is more energy efficient, improves humidity control, reduces peak demand charges, and you might even be eligible for a utility rebate. Contact Alliance today to learn more!