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Ventilate Your Home (And Save Money) With an ERV System

airflow-diagramFall is an excellent time to have upgrades made to your home’s HVAC system. This can mean installing a new heater to get ready for the winter or putting in a new Wi-Fi thermostat system. One of the Cary, NC, HVAC services our professionals offer that can help a home tremendously during all seasons of the year is adding an ERV system. If you’re interested in enjoying better air quality in your house without wasting money on extra heating power, an ERV system is one of the finest options available.

The Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is designed to get around a dilemma that most homes face during hot and cold weather: How can the house enjoy fresh air currents without letting in heat or letting it out?

For example, during a cold December day, it’s not practical to fling open the windows to let in a fresh breeze. Heat will escape through the windows and make the house cold. To replace the lost heat requires tremendous extra work from the home’s furnace or other heating system. On a hot summer day, the trouble simply flips around, with heat flooding into the house and making the air conditioner strain to keep people cool.

Unfortunately, many homeowners give up on enjoying fresh, clean air entirely during summer and winter. They keep their houses tightly sealed for energy efficiency, allowing indoor air to turn stale and pollutant-filled.

How an ERV System Solves This Dilemma

The simple explanation of what an ERV system does is that it ventilates a house while recovering the energy already used to heat or cool the inside air. This recovered energy is applied to the fresh air the ERV draws from outside.

The process works like this: The ERV pulls a current of fresh outdoor air into the HVAC system through an exterior vent. At the same time, it also draws a current of stale indoor air into the HVAC system. The two currents pass through each other inside the ERV, and through a process called counterflow heat exchange, one current loses its heat to the other. This either pre-cools or pre-heats the fresh air (depending on the outside weather).

Imagine the same cold December day we described above. The ERV draws fresh, cold air from outside and then runs it past a current of stale, warm air from inside. The cold air heats up because of contact with the warm air. This recovers around 80% of the energy used to heat up the indoor air in the first place with a furnace or other heating system. The fresh air enters the house much warmer than it was before, while the stale air is exhausted outside. The home’s heater won’t have to do much extra work to warm up the fresh air.

An effective ERV gives a home healthier, more pleasant air and saves money on heating and cooling. But it must receive a professional installation for it to work properly. To find out more about ERV installation, call our technicians. We think this is one of the best upgrades you can make for your HVAC system.

Enjoy the comfort you deserve! Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. serves the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

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