In the last few years we have been hearing about how important it is to make our homes energy efficient. We might have added more insulation, better doors and windows that stop air leaks, foamed and sealed voids in our walls, basement and crawlspace, and even replaced our furnaces with high efficiency ones. The whole idea is to keep the heated or cooled air inside our homes when the weather becomes severe outside. What happens though is sometimes we make our homes too efficient or tight.
Just like our bodies, our homes must breathe to exhaust out stale air that we create on the inside. Every day we cook, shower or hang clothes to dry and this produces humidity in the air. Sometimes homes that are too tight will show signs of this excess humidity on walls and windows. Solvents and detergents that get airborne must be exhausted or they will contaminate the air we breathe. Odors from cooking and pets linger unless we can exhaust them out. How do we bring in fresh air and exhaust contaminated air if our home has been sealed up as tight as a plastic bag? We could open a window or door but that is not a very controlled way to ventilate a tight home.
The best way to bring in fresh air and to exhaust stale air out of your home is with a Heat Recovery Ventilator or HRV. A Heat Recovery Ventilator is installed to your heating and cooling system. It takes some of the air returning to your furnace and exhausts it to the outdoors. Then, it brings in fresh air from the outdoors and pipes it back into your return duct system. Because the HRV is installed this way, you are now ventilating your home without creating uncomfortable drafts. The HRV is completely automatic and operates for only pennies a day.