For residential applications, designers or consulting engineers recommend either a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV). Most of the time they do not know the difference between both and therefore, don’t know which to choose. One thing they do know, that every tight home needs mechanical ventilation, for which 3 options are available:
- An exhaust-only ventilation system
- A central-fan-integrated supply ventilation system
- A balanced ventilation system using an HRV or an ERV.
The best and most efficient option is the balanced ventilation system with an HRV or an ERV. Although balanced ventilation systems are expensive to install, they have the lowest operating cost of any ventilation option.
The main difference between an HRV and an ERV is that an HRV only transfers heat, while the ERV transfers heat and humidity (Sensible and Latent load). This means, that in either in winter or summer, the ERV will be more efficient at recuperating more energy than the HRV.