HRV’s: What they do and how to care for them

Home School Care & Maintenance

A stuffy house isn’t a comfortable house. Sure, you can always open a window or door, but that isn’t practical during the really hot or cold Alberta months. Not to mention, this invites pollen and other possible allergens into your home. So what’s the solution for fresh air in your home?

Nothing is more refreshing and energizing than crisp, fresh air flowing through the hallways and rooms of your home. Fresh air is a key part of what makes your home a livable space. A great way to enjoy natural, fresh air in your home year-round is through the installation of a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV. An option that comes standard in all Morrison Homes HRV’s act both as humidity control as well as the home’s primary ventilation system.

How does an HRV work?

An HRV is a very energy efficient system that pulls the stale air from inside your home while simultaneously replacing it with fresh air from outside your home. An HRV works by drawing in the stale, warm air from inside your home along with the cooler, fresh air from outside your home. With these two separate airstreams in the system, they cross paths and a heat transfer occurs between them. Following the heat transfer, the stale air from inside your home is now cooler and is deposited outside. Meanwhile, the fresh air is now warmer and is supplied to the home. Through this transfer, there is no energy wasted and your home is kept comfortable.

To manage home humidity, HRV units remove air from the prime source of your home’s humidity; the bathrooms. Similar to bathroom fans, HRVs can be set to run on high with a bathroom timer. It is recommended to set the HRV on high for the maximum time (60 minutes) any time the shower or bath is used to provide optimum removal of moisture.

What makes an HRV unique and energy efficient is that it uses heat transfer to ensure that the air being supplied to the home is a comfortable temperature. The HRV’s heat exchange core transfers heat from the outgoing stale air stream to heat up the incoming air stream. This heat transfer is done without the two airstreams ever mixing; ensuring that you only have fresh air being supplied to your home.

What are the Benefits?

Heat ventilation systems offer homeowners many benefits. The most prominent benefit of all is fresh air ventilation. As the quality of homes has improved with better seals and insulation, homes have become more airtight and as a result, less well ventilated. An HRV system provides much needed home ventilation without the loss of heat or humidity in your home. This saves stress on your home’s furnace or air conditioning system and ultimately helps keep utility costs lower.

The benefits to HRVs don’t end there! HRVs also provide improved indoor air quality,increase home longevity through the removal of moisture, control winter condensation and reduce the amount of allergens such as pollen that get introduced into your home.

How do I care for it?

A healthy HRV helps keep the air fresh in your home all the time. Cleaning and maintaining your heat recovery ventilation system will extend its lifespan and prevent imbalances in air pressure. The following practices are generally recommended for maintenance:

  • Dust your HRV filters and rinse with plain water every 3 months.
  • Rinse the HRV’s core with plain water every 6 months.
  • Check and wipe away any dust and debris from drains at the bottom of the unit every time it is opened.

HRV maintenance is a quick, easy activity that can save a lot of stress, time and money in the future and ensures you have clean fresh air all year.

A heat recovery ventilator is a smart and energy efficient solution to your home ventilation needs. With the use of an HRV in your home, you can live comfortably and enjoy fresh air year-round with minimal maintenance.