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Intro to Heat Recovery Ventilators

Heat Recovery Ventilator

Produced by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency EnerGuide

The Home Heating and Cooling Series is published by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency's EnerGuide programs. EnerGuide is the official Government of Canada mark associated with the labelling and rating of the energy consumption or energy efficiency of household appliances, heating and ventilation equipment, air conditioners, houses and vehicles.

EnerGuide also helps manufacturers and dealers promote energy-efficient equipment and provides consumers with the information they need to choose energy-efficient residential equipment.

Improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.

By using energy efficiently and making wise consumer choices, you can reduce your individual GHG emissions by one tonne, or about 20%. Like most Canadians, you probably already take steps to conserve resources and protect the environment. Now the One-Tonne Challenge calls on you to make a bigger commitment.


 

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The Need for Mechanical Ventilation

  Cleaning the Air in an R-2000 Home
  Cleaning the Air in a Conventional Home
  Some Typical Household Pollutants
  How Much Ventilation Does Your Home Need?
2. The HRV System
  Components of an HRV System
  Air Distribution
  Checking Airflow Room by Room
  The Need for a Balanced System
  Do-It-Yourself Balance Check
3. Operating Your HRV
  Controls
  Low-Speed Operation
  High-Speed Operation
  Considerations for Heating Season Operation
  Considerations for Non-Heating Season
  Operation Considerations for All Seasons
4. Routine Maintenance
  Seven-Step Maintenance Schedule
5. HRV Maintenance Chart
6. Operating Problems and Solutions
  HRV Troubleshooting Guide
7. Need More Information?

Introduction

The importance of ventilation in today's more energy- efficient homes is universally recognized. Introduced as a requirement for airtight R-2000* homes, continuous ventilation systems are now common in new conventional housing and major home renovations. Because of the energy savings generated, the system of choice is often a heat recovery ventilator (HRV).

An HRV is a mechanical ventilation device that helps make your home healthier, cleaner and more comfortable by continuously replacing stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air. HRVs are set apart from other mechanical ventilation devices by their ability to exchange heat between the supply and exhaust air streams, which in turn reduces the cost of heating or cooling the healthy fresh air that circulates through the home. HRVs are sometimes called air-to-air heat exchangers because they preheat or cool incoming air using exhaust air.

This booklet discusses the need for mechanical ventilation in today's homes and explains the components of an HRV system, how to operate and maintain the system, and how to solve operating problems. This information will be of use to occupants of homes with HRVs.

There are many types of HRVs on the market, as well as different installation strategies. The size of your house, type of heating system, and geographical location, etc., can all affect the kind of system you have and the way it has been installed. The diagrams in this booklet give examples of some of the types of systems available; they are provided for information purposes only.

This booklet is intended to supplement your HRV owner's manual, not to replace it. If you need a manual or more information on operating procedures for your HRV, contact the installer or manufacturer. A list of HRV manufacturers whose products have certified performance ratings from the Home Ventilating Institute can be found by clicking here.

* R-2000 is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada.

Table of Contents  |  Next

Source: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) - Office of Energy Efficiency


 

The Heating and Cooling Series is published by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency's EnerGuide programs. EnerGuide is the official Government of Canada mark associated with the labelling and rating of the energy consumption or energy efficiency of household appliances, heating and ventilation equipment, air conditioners, houses and vehicles.

EnerGuide also helps manufacturers and dealers promote energy-efficient equipment and provides consumers with the information they need to choose energy-efficient residential equipment.

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