Poor indoor air quality is a serious problem for homes in Florida, but it’s also a problem that’s often ignored. People tend to worry more about keeping their homes cooled rather than circulating fresh air. Humidity is the air quality issue that usually gets the most attention.
One of the easiest ways to improve a home’s air quality—and this includes helping with the humidity—is with the installation of an energy recovery ventilator. What is that? We’ll explain more below.
How an Energy Recovery Ventilator Works
Since homes today have heavy insulation on them to make them more energy efficient, there’s little fresh air circulation from the outside. Throwing open the windows and doors may bring in the fresh air, but it also brings in the outside temperature. An energy recovery ventilator (or ERV for short) is a device that gets around this problem. It’s integrated into an existing HVAC system to allow for fresh air to enter the home without placing extra work on the air conditioner (or the heater during cooler weather).
The process is quite simple: the ERV uses the indoor air to either pre-heat or pre-cool the incoming outside air. The stale air is then exhausted outdoors, and the fresh air arrives indoors already close to the indoor temperature.
For example, on a blistering hot day, the energy recovery ventilator pulls in a current of fresh, but warm, air from the outside. It runs the air through its heat exchanger at the same time as it draws in a current of cooled air from inside. The warm air loses heat to the cool air and cools down. The ERV is thus recovering the energy used to cool the indoor air with the air conditioner and applying it to the incoming air. The process works in reverse as well for colder days, and the ERV can recover approximately 80% of the energy of your HVAC system.
How This Benefits You
An energy recovery ventilator solves two problems at once: lack of fresh air and high humidity. The stale air inside your home is exhausted to the outside and replaced with fresh air, but you don’t have to pay more on your heating and cooling bills—you still get to keep your windows and doors shut. At the same time, humidity passes between the current of air in the ERV, which means you won’t bring in extra humidity along with the fresh air, and on dry days you’ll capture the humidity already inside the house and apply it to the incoming air. You don’t have to change any settings on the ERV—no matter the weather or the humidity, it will adapt to serve your home’s needs.
Call Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Are you interested in the installation of an energy recovery ventilator in Clearwater, FL or elsewhere in our service area? When you work with us, we’ll find the right ERV or other indoor air quality device to meet your needs and have it installed correctly.