We’d like to let you in on a little secret about modern homes. Particularly homes in regions that get as deep-frozen cold as Minnesota. They don’t breathe well. Your house almost certainly has heavy insulation and sealing around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping to the chilly outdoors.
This sounds great—just what you want during a frigid winter. But a house that can’t breathe well also can’t get rid of contaminants in the air. Over the winter, a closed-up house will become stuffy, dusty, and its air filled with chemicals and other unhealthy particles from combustion products, cleaning and hobby supplies, and varnishes and paints.
This is where the energy recovery ventilator comes in
Installing an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is a way to ventilate your home without allows the heat to escape outside. Basically, an ERV “recovers” the heat that tries to leave the house as fresh air enters and uses that heat to warm up the fresh air. You get rid out the bad air, bring in the good air, and don’t deal with skyrocketing heating bills.
How this works
The ERV is integrated into the HVAC system of your home. It uses a fan to pull cold air from an outside vent into it. At the same time, it draws on a current of indoor air. The fresh, but cold air, and stale, but warm air, pass through each other inside the ERV’s heat exchanger. A process called cross-current heat exchange takes place, and the hot indoor air loses its heat to the outdoor air, recovering the energy used to heat it in the first place to pre-heat the fresh outside air. The stale air is vented to the outdoors, and the warmed fresh air continues to the indoors.
It works in summer as well
An energy recovery ventilator is an investment for the whole year. In hot weather, the process simply flips: the hot outdoor air loses its heat to the cool indoor air. The fresh air arrives pre-cooled.
Freedom Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. installs energy recovery ventilators and similar heat recovery ventilators in Plymouth, MN and throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.