What is an Energy Recovery Ventilator
If you are dealing with stuffy air in your home, you may need to consider having your ventilation system evaluated. Today’s tight sealing is great for keeping your home’s energy performance optimized, but the unintended consequence of this structural improvement can be a restriction of the airflow into and out of your home. As a result, pollutants can build up inside your house, mold can take hold and the air can become stale.
Types of Ventilation
Natural ventilation occurs when air flows into your home through cracks, open doors or windows. However, these are the issues that also increase your heating and cooling loads, leading to greater energy usage and higher utility bills. Home sealing and household management of activities can improve the energy usage issues, but these also restrict the opportunity for the exchange of air.
Mechanical ventilation includes three primary options:
- Exhaust – indoor air is exhausted from the home to rid the setting of pollutants
- Supply – fresh air is moved into the home to improve the quality and freshness of the air supply in the structure
- Balanced – a balanced ventilation system involves both exhaust and supply action, providing an exchange of air from indoor and outdoor settings and enhancing the quality of the indoor air supply
Energy Recovery Ventilation
An energy recovery ventilator provides important energy saving service as it funnels air into and out of your house. The two airstreams pass through a common box that allows an energy transfer process to take place. At the same time, the streams of air don’t mingle, ensuring that your incoming supply stays fresh. The incoming air can recover up to 80 percent of the heating or cooling energy of the outgoing supply, meaning that there is minimal impact on your heating or cooling load. Whereas opening a window on a hot day to infuse fresh air into your home would increase the air conditioning activity significantly, the use of an ERV will allow for preconditioning to limit the impact on AC activity.
Humidity can be a serious problem for Florida homes, and an energy recovery ventilator is designed to draw moisture out of the incoming airstream as well. A paper core absorbs the incoming moisture to limit the impact on the home. Your home’s relative humidity should be no greater than 50 percent, and ERV installation can help in maintaining optimum moisture levels while ensuring that you are breathing fresher air.
Additional Indoor Air Quality Concerns
Humidity can wreak havoc on the interior of a home, perpetuating mold growth and impacting comfort levels enough to lead to increased use of the HVAC system, especially during summer months. When your RH surpasses 50 percent, the air in your home can harbor increased levels of mold and bacteria, potentially leading to structural and décor damage while affecting personal health.
The team at Mike Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning can evaluate your home’s air supply to pinpoint pollutants and sources. We can offer solutions for your Orange Park, FL home, including ventilation, dehumidification and filtration. Contact our office staff to discuss your needs or to schedule an appointment today.