Does your home seem stuffy or your air smell stale? It could be that you need more fresh air circulating throughout your home. But how to do that during the cold winter months (or hot, humid summers)? An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) could be just what you need. ERVs, more commonly known as energy recovery systems, ventilate your home by pulling in fresh air and exhausting the indoor air, without driving up your energy bills. This is especially important in newer homes, which thanks to improved constructions practices over the past two decades, are sealed up tight. That means that less fresh air leaks in, unless you open your windows and doors.
Over time, the air builds with potential contaminants from cooking with combustible fuels and the gas expelled by new products you bring into your home. Older homes that have been tightly sealed also are subject to poor indoor air quality due to inadequate ventilation.
Energy recovery systems also help reduce the humidity levels in homes, which is a major factor in the Asheville area during the summer. An ERV removes some of the humidity from the incoming air, lowering the load on your cooling system. The systems have an enthalpic core inside them that recovers some of the exhausted air’s thermal energy, which they use to dry and cool the incoming air. You’ll still have to use your cooling system, even with energy recovery systems, but your cooling load will be lower.
An ERV delivers fresh air through your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) ductwork, and you can select the volume by using a wall control, similar to a thermostat. When your HVAC contractor installs an ERV, it’s important that the intake vent be away from driveways, dryer exhaust vents, or any location from which the exhaust of fuel-burning yard equipment can reach it.
If you’d like to learn more about energy recovery systems, contact Smoky Mountain Heating & Air. We provide HVAC services for the Asheville area, and can help you evaluate your home’s air quality and address any other home-comfort issues.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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