Heat Recovery Ventilation
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What is Heat Recovery Ventilation?
True Energy & Heat Recovery ventilation systems focus on recovering the heat in your home as it is replaced by fresh air. In contrast a positive pressure ventilation system pushes your home's warm air out with cooler fresh air.
Heat recovery ventilation systems are generally a balanced pressure system designed to keep the air quality high while minimising temperature change. They remove warm and damp air from living spaces and pass it through a heat recovery system (also known as a heat exchanger) to warm up dry, cool air which has been pulled in from outside.
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Great for newer airtight homes, energy and heat recovery systems can be used for whole home, multi-room or single room applications to maintain indoor air quality and transfer the energy of incoming supply air through a heat exchanger with outgoing exhaust air being expelled from the home.
ERVs and HRVs tend to be balanced pressure ventilation systems as they balance the pressure of gently introducing fresh, filtered air into the home while mechanically extracting the same amount of stale, moist air.
The difference between the two systems is the type of material used in the heat exchanger core - HRVs are better in dry environments and ERVs are best in humid environments. Depending on your local climate zone, we can help select the best recovery system for your home.
ERV & HRV systems can help reduce the heating or cooling running costs of a home in New Zealand's temperate climate and are used for maintaining good indoor air quality with high filtration.
Not just a balanced system, some ERV & HRV models can be configured to be either a slight positive or negative pressure system by adjusting the speed of the supply and exhaust air fans.
In older homes, most ventilation systems in New Zealand are positive pressure systems where the fresh air displaces the stale moisture laden air through gaps around windows, doors, light fittings etc.
Read more here about our Mitsubishi Lossnay recovery ventilation system.
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9 questions & answers about this product
When do you need a Balanced Ventilation System?
Three main reasons why balanced Energy (ERV) or Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems are of increasing relevance for New Zealand homes:
- Ventilation for airtight homes: New home construction methods have less gaps which is more thermally efficient. Unfortunately without gaps there is nowhere for damp, stale air to escape through either naturally or via conventional positive pressure ventilation systems. The balanced approach to an ERV or HRV system is that air is simultaneously removed mechanically from the home to balance the air coming in which creates gentle circulation and keeps the air dry and fresh.
- Energy efficiency of Recovery Ventilation systems: In winter we spend a high proportion of our power bills on staying warm through heat pumps and heaters. A heat recovery system uses the heat of the outgoing air to temper the fresh air coming in - it reuses the energy you've already paid for to warm the incoming cool air.
- Improved comfort: We can help you by advising which system suits your needs, your home, layout and which climate zone you’re in. Teamed with a heat pump, you can get the best out of your ERV or HRV to keep your home cooler in summer, warmer and drier in winter.
How is an Energy or Heat Recovery System different from others?
An Energy or Heat Recovery System balances the amount of air brought into your home with the amount taken out.
In addition, an energy/ heat recovery system transfers most of the heat energy (in winter) of the outgoing air to the incoming air so that it is both fresh and warm. The number of air changes per hour are recommended to be 0.35.
In contrast most traditional systems in New Zealand are positive pressure systems that push fresh (often cold) air into the home and in doing so push the air you’ve already heated outside through gaps around windows, doors etc. In order to be effective to reduce condensation, the recommended number of air changes per hour is 2-3.
Read more here about our Mitsubishi Lossnay recovery ventilation system.
Do you sell Heat Recovery Ventilation systems?
Yes we do. HRV is an acronym for Heat Recovery Ventilation which is a ventilation system that balances the air brought into your home with the amount of air taken out, creating a more comfortable and healthy home. We can provide professional advice on the best ventilation system required for your home. Read more here about our Mitsubishi Lossnay recovery ventilation system.
Isn’t HRV a brand of ventilation?
There is some confusion in the market about HRV and whether it is a brand or a ventilation system type. Well, both are true.
HRV is also an industry acronym for Heat Recovery Ventilation which is a system many companies supply and install, including us at Brightr. We can advise on the best ventilation system for your home and needs.
How much energy can an Energy or Heat Recovery System recover?
It varies by individual system but up to 86% of the heat energy can be recovered and transferred to the incoming ventilated air.
What is the difference between Energy and Heat Recovery Systems?
The difference between the two is the type of material used in the heat exchanger core - HRVs are better in dry environments and ERVs are best in humid environments.
Is an Energy or Heat Recovery System suitable for old or new homes?
Both. Certainly new homes should focus on a Energy or Heat Recovery ventilation system since modern homes are more airtight and don’t have the small gaps around windows and doors typical of older houses that positive pressure systems rely on.
Energy or Heat Recovery Systems are also suitable for old homes. Typically older homes are less well insulated and so every effort to minimise heat loss should be taken.
HRVs are better in dry environments and ERVs are best in humid environments.
A positive pressure system pushes the damp but heated air outside as it brings in fresh dry air.
Can I use my ERV or HRV as a balanced, positive or negative pressure system?
Yes, some ERV & HRV models can be set up to be either balanced pressure, positive or negative pressure (by adjusting the speed of the supply and exhaust air fans) and to be most effective must be used in conjunction with properly sized heat pumps.
Does a Heat Recovery system heat my home?
No. It's a heat recovery system, not a heat source, they are most effective when used in conjunction with properly sized heat pumps, and create less draughts than some systems. These systems can be used for whole home, multi-room or single room applications.
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