These are some energy consumption considerations in your home’s air quality and ventilation systems

Did you know? Everything you do inside of your well-insulated, modern home contributes to the air quality of your living space. Your cleaning products, pets, and daily behaviours all change the character of air your family breathes.

Whole home ventilation addresses these challenges. A ventilation system regulates your home’s humidity levels, airbone pollutants, and indoor allergens. It is a mechanical system of fans and ducts which draw in fresh, outdoor air through a filter while removing stale indoor air.

A heat-recovery or energy-recovery ventilation system contributes to this cycle by moderating the temperatures of incoming air. Let’s look at how these systems work and some of their benefits and limitations.


How do these systems work?

Energy-recovery ventilation systems can reduce the costs of heating or cooling in the home. How do they accomplish this task? As cold outdoor air enters the home in the winter, heat transfers from the warm indoor exhaust air through a series of ducts. In the summer, indoor air exiting the home lowers the temperatures of supply air incoming on a hot summer’s day.

An energy-recovery ventilator system differs from a heat-recovery ventilator because it also transfers some of the moisture between air exiting the house to the incoming, drier winter air. If you use an air conditioner in the summer time, an energy-recovery ventilator transfers water vapor from incoming air to the drier air that’s leaving the house. In contrast, a heat-recovery ventilator only transfers heat and may be less effective at controlling home humidity levels.

Duct work in energy-recovery ventilator systems should connect to bedrooms and common living areas. Duct size is based on pressure in the system. Homeowners should be aware that these kinds of systems also require more maintenance for peak performance and superior air quality.


What are some benefits and limitations of these systems?

These ventilation systems can be valuable in our Canadian climate, as we experience dramatic temperature fluctuations in winter and summer. Our expert Applewood advisors will be able to help you determine if this kind of system is right for your home.

Our home comfort experts can also guide you through the process of determining how different types of ventilation systems will work within your budget. Depending on the layout of ductwork, installation costs can vary for energy-recovery or heat-recovery ventilators.

Complex ductwork is more expensive to install, requires more maintenance, and increases energy requirements. There must be a balance of energy devoted to operating the system and the savings achieved through energy transference in the air. Most energy-recovery ventilation systems can recover between 70 and 80 percent of the energy in the existing air and deliver that to the incoming air.


If you want to learn more about an energy-recovery or heat-recovery ventilation system, our Applewood advisors are happy to evaluate your home’s unique situation and give you the customized insight needed. Give us a call today to start the conversation!

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