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Fresh Air and Energy Saving This Winter with an Energy Recovery Ventilator

There’s a dilemma that homes face when it comes to receiving fresh air while staying warm during the winter. Modern homes are built to trap heat indoors and make them easier to keep comfortable. If cold drafts are getting into a home, it will be much harder to keep warm and the heater will have to run almost constantly.

But this heavy insulation on the house also means there’s little chance to vent out the stale, often contaminant-filled air and replace it with fresh air.

Here’s how to solve this

Yes, there’s a way to get around this dilemma for your home. It’s called an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV for short. What it does is provide ventilation for the inside of your home while recovering the energy you used to heat it and then using that energy to heat the incoming air.

We’ll break that down to help you understand how this operates:

The ERV is integrated into the HVAC system of your home. An outdoor vent allows the ERV to draw in fresh outside air. Air that is also colder than the air inside your home. At the same time, the ERV draws in a current of indoor air, which is warm but also stale and possibly choked with dust and chemicals and other pollutants. These two currents of air move through each other inside the heat exchanger of the ERV, and thermal energy from the indoor air transfers to the outdoor air. So the energy used to heat the air inside the home is “recovered” and used to warm up the incoming air. The stale air is exhausted outside, while the fresh air—which has now been pre-heated—goes into the house.

You not only receive an influx of fresh air for your household, but you save energy at the same time. An ERV can recover up to 80% of the energy that would otherwise go straight to waste if the house were opened up to the outside.

There’s another bonus: an ERV works in hot weather as well! The process simply reverses—the warm outdoor air loses heat to the cooler indoor air and become pre-cooled. You end up recovering the energy used to keep your house air conditioned.

To find out more about installing an energy recovery ventilator, give us a call! Bob Mims Heating & Air Conditioning—serving Staten Island’s heating and AC needs since 1955.

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