January 18, 2013

What You Need to Know About Your HRV unit

A Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system is an essential part of any new home. As new Vancouver homes become more and more insulated from the outside, getting a fresh consistent air flow becomes increasingly more difficult especially during the fall and winter months when cracking open a window is no longer an option. This is where the Heat Recovery Ventilation system comes in play. The HRV unit is responsible for filtering new air in, maintaining air pressure and aiding in the preservation of heat during the cold months.

An image showing the flow of air through an HRV unit

The HRV unit is able to accomplish all of this by taking old, warm, stale air that is already circulating throughout the house and using that air to heat an internal main cell before flushing the air outside. Once the cell has been heated; new, fresh, however, cold air is drawn into the system and heated via the main cell, maintaining a 70% - 90% heat recovery range. Then the air is sent down to furnace to be brought to the specified temperature and distributed throughout the home. In addition to heating via the main cell the air passes through several filters and grates designed to remove excess moisture, dust and debris giving you the cleanest air possible.

There are many benefits to having a Heat Recovery Ventilation system working in your new Vancouver home. Air quality is greatly increased as it is constantly being filtered and refreshed. People suffering from allergies and asthma will notice that they will feel fewer symptoms due to decreased particles floating throughout the air. Condensation will be minimized and almost eliminated altogether as the HRV unit works to remove excess moisture. Bathrooms will be less musty smelling and moisture will be greatly reduced. The cost of heating your home will also decrease since you will no longer need to open your window to get fresh air losing heat.

As you can imagine with such a complex machine, maintenance is a must to keep it running at optimal performance and to preserve the warranty here is a list of some of the items that needs to be done:

A dry bathroom in a custom Vancouver home

-Each and every one of the filters and grates should be either changed or cleaned monthly to allow them to operate at peak performance and to keep the unit from over working and burning out.
-Ensure that the air intake vents are clear of debris and that there are no machines or gas containers nearby, because even though the fumes will get filtered they cause unneeded strain on the unit.
-Understanding your control pad and the settings needed for your home will help you from over working the system. ---Drains in the HRV unit will also need to be maintained on a monthly basis by removing any debris that has built up, failing to do so could cause the unit to back up with water and eventually flood into your home.
-Over time the unit will also need to be balanced, so that the intake and exhaust pressures and rates are the same to prevent the machine from malfunctioning.

Performing the tasks listed above will help preserve the functionality of the unit but more importantly the system will need to be serviced by a professional every 6 months to a year (check the manufacturer’s manual). This will keep your warranty from becoming void and costing you money if it breaks.

All and all whether your are building a luxury custom Vancouver Home or on to your Vancouver  home and Laneway home a Heat Recovery Ventilation system can greatly benefit you and your family by improving the air quality of your new Vancouver home and saving your money.