With the City of Vancouver’s Green Homes Program, new homes are required to be better insulated with less air leakage than ever before. This means lower heating costs. Unfortunately, it can also lead to stuffy, stale indoor air.
To prevent this, the City is now also requiring a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to be installed in every new home.
An HRV delivers fresh outdoor air into a home’s ventilation system while also exhausting stale outdoor air. But, unlike with other ventilation systems, operating an HRV results in very little energy loss. This is because an HRV will transfer the heat from the outgoing stale air into the incoming fresh air. It does so by passing the air through a countercurrent heat exchanger, where the air flowing in each direction is passed through an array of narrow passages. As the outgoing indoor air flows through the narrow passages, its heat is transferred into the incoming outdoor air. Up to 90% of the heat can be saved.
In short, an HRV is an energy efficient way to keep your home’s air fresh.