I just moved into a new house and it has a heat recovery ventilator. How do I use it?

As of 2011, all new homes are required to have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). An HRV brings in outside air, which is pre-heated by heat recovered from outgoing warm exhaust air. The heated outside air is distributed to the home to replace air that is exhausted from the kitchen and bathrooms.

Many HRVs only have basic controls, where the fans run continuously on low speed and never shut off. Wall switches in the bathrooms and kitchen and a humidity control are typically used to switch the HRV fans to high speed.

In homes with low occupancy, running the HRV continuously at low speed may be excessive and result in uncomfortably low humidity and higher heating costs. Although 60% of the exhaust air heat is recovered, there is still a cost to heat the other 40% that is lost. If this is your situation, consider installing an advanced HRV control, which allows the HRV fan to be off for 20 or 40 minutes of every hour. Advanced controls can help you save money while matching your ventilation needs to your lifestyle.

Mechanical Engineer


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