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Fresh Air Ventilation using an HRV

(Heat Recovery Ventilator Unit)

You’ve heard it on TV and read about it in magazines. The news is everywhere … the air inside your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside.

Since the 1970s, when we started building tighter energy-efficient homes, the level of indoor air pollutants has steadily increased.


Why? Contaminated air which once escaped through cracks around windows and doors is now trapped inside with you and your family.


An HRV is designed to bring a continuous supply of fresh air into a home while exhausting an equal amount of contaminated air. HRVs use what is called a “sensible” heat recovery core. This special aluminum core transfers heat from the exhaust air stream to the incoming air stream. Fresh incoming air is tempered by the heat that is transferred from the outgoing air so you save on energy costs. Most HRVs are equipped with automatic defrost mechanisms so even if you live in the coldest climates you can use your HRV all year long.

How do they work?
What climate zone do we live in? 
Climate conditions will determine whether you need a Heat Recovery Ventilator or an Energy Recovery Ventilator. Here in Ontario we need Heat Recovery Ventilators. HRVs are usually recommended for colder climates with longer heating seasons. ERVs are used for warmer more humid climates with long cooling seasons, which doesn't apply to us here in Ontario. In regions where temperatures can fall below 23°F (-5°C) for several hours, it is recommended that a unit with defrost capability be installed. Units with suffix “N” on model number do not have defrost capability.