ERV or HRV? What is the difference?

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.



    • Hi Renewaire ERV's are not HRV. if you need a replacement core for any unit, we can sell these to you. You need to call us at 561-367-0320 to order replacement cores as they are not listed on the website. We will need the unit model and serial number as well as a description of the problem with the current core.
    • HRV is a Heat Recovery Ventilator. It only transfers temperature from one airstream to the other, but not humidity. An ERV is an Energy Recovery Ventilator, which transfers heat and humidity from one airstream to the other. ERV's are more efficient and provide a better indoor comfort and HRVs.

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