Maintaining fresh air in a house is critical to keeping the home’s inhabitants healthy. One way to maintain a steady flow of fresh air into the house is to use either an energy recovery ventilator or a heat recovery ventilator. Homeowners are sometimes unsure of the difference between the two systems. While they are very similar in functionality, there is a slight, but important, difference between the two.

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) simply removes stale air from a home and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) does the same thing. The difference comes in the way the two devices treat moisture in the air.

The HRV doesn’t do anything with air moisture. The indoor air is pushed out and the outdoor air is brought in, regardless of moisture level. The ERV transfers moisture from the stream that has moisture to the drier stream. That means an ERV will take humidity from inside the home and push it back inside when cold, dry air is coming in. When it’s humid outside, the ERV will take humidity out of the incoming air and push it out with the stale air.

At Comfort Systems, we proudly help Wichita homeowners with all of their heating and air conditioning needs. Contact us for more information on energy and heat recovery ventilation systems. We would be happy to advise you on whether a ventilation system could improve your air quality and which type of ventilation would be best-suited for your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ventilators and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.