Heat Recovery Ventilation  Systems (HRV)

Air Exchanger Systems for Home Ventilation

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Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) constantly supply fresh air to provide a healthy indoor environment by reducing odors and and indoor pollutants, such as radon, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxides, carbon monoxide, and pesticides. Heat recovery units constantly bring fresh air into the home while exhausting like amounts of stale indoor air at the same time.

The recovery part of the ventilation means that the hot or cold energy in the air (depending on the season) is extracted from the indoor air before it is exhausted and transferred to the incoming air, so that there is little energy lost.

Heat Recovery Ventilators use separate blowers to constantly supply incoming fresh air while exhausting outgoing stale air. The heat-exchange core transfers heat to fresh air without mixing the airstreams. The damper automatically stops cold air for defrosting.

The efficiency of heat recovery ventilation became a necessity due to increasing heating costs. Before the '70s, we happily cranked up the thermostat when the house felt chilly. Once heating costs went through the roof, though, we all put on sweaters and started looking for ways to save. With up to 40 percent of our heating dollar going to air drafts, sealing homes began to seem like the best defense against high heating bills.

Unfortunately, those heat-sealing upgrades -- tight windows and doors, insulation and vapor-barrier improvements, modern siding and caulk for every crack through which air might pass -- while making the home thermally efficient, sealed in a plethora of toxins, creating what's often referred to as "sick building syndrome."

It turns out that those heat-robbing drafts played an important role in the ecosystem of the home: they provided fresh air to breathe. Thus the birth of home ventilation air exchangers.


Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) will transfer temperature only from the high temperature air to the low temperature air. Energy recovery ventilators (ERV) transfer both temperature and moisture. Since transferring both temperature and moisture has benefits in both winter and summer, ERV's are a better choice in all but the most northern colder climates for providing year round fresh air to the home.

Heat recovery units can be installed in an existing home, as well as a new home, and are an integral part of the heating and air conditioning system. HRV systems can work with any forced air system equipped with a blower and duct system. It can also be used with non-forced air systems (floor heat coils, for instance) as an independent system.

To maximize the air quality, you can keep your home closed year-round and operate the HRV system constantly, efficiently producing a fresh and secure environment.

Heat recovery ventilators should be serviced about every six months. The simple procedures are fully described in the manual provided with each unit. These maintenance procedures can be completed by you or your contractor, if you desire.

How to Determine the Right Venmar Model

All Venmar models are rated by the Airflow rate. To calculate your airflow rate, count every room in your house, including bathrooms and service porches, and give each room 10 points, then add 10 points to the total. For instance, if you have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a dining room, kitchen, living room, den and service porch, you have 10 rooms. That's 100 points. Add 10 extra to get 110. That means the upper CFM range must be at least 110. Looking at the HRV model options below, you choices would be a Constructo 1.5, Solo 1.5 or HE 1.3.

If you have high ceilings or larger than standard rooms, increase the CFM by 10 to 30 points, depending on how much more cubic air volume is in the house. (If you have an existing HVAC system, you can also find out its CFM rating and use that figure.)

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Venmar Heat Recovery Ventilator Options

Venmar HEPA 3100 HRV (upgrade for the 3000)

The healthy solution for optimal indoor air quality is a Venmar HEPA 3100 unit, the ultimate system for optimal Indoor Air Quality. In addition to providing excess humidity control and heat recovery functions, it can also help reduce symptoms of respiratory ailments and allergies, thanks to its remarkable HEPA filter with antimicrobian protech, which captures 99.97% of all dust and particles even those as small as 0.3 micron ( 1 human hair = 150 microns). more info

Venmar Constructo HRV Series (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0)

Constructo is state-of-the-art ventilation technology that is ideal for new residential construction or renovation projects where available space is limited because it is 20% smaller than comparable units. The Constructo is available with horizontal or vertical ports (factory-configured) and is simple to install and easy to maintain. The Constructo can be upgraded to an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) with a simple swap of its core. more info

Venmar EKO 1.5 Ultra Efficient HRV with Homeshield Defrosting System

The AVS HRV EKO 1.5 has been designed to be one of the most eco-friendly HRV air exchangers on the market. Its innovative design incorporates extremely high performance ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) motors that are equivalent in power to a compact fluorescent bulb (13.5 watts each), which enables EKO to significantly lower energy costs without affecting its performance. Additional energy efficiency is found through its advanced heat recovery core, which can retain up to 80% of homes heating. EKO surpasses energy-saving standards while providing effective heat recovery, ventilation and quiet operation. All aspects have been designed to facilitate balancing of air flow and simplify uses and installation. more info

Venmar Solo HRV Series (1.5 and 2.0)

The Solo is a very popular choice and one of the best heat recovery air exchangers (HRV) of its category, Solo air exchangers deliver an exceptional level of indoor air quality and excess humidity control.  Featuring a robust polypropylene core, the Solo provides mid-size homes with fresh air all year and retains heat in colder climates for improved home comfort.  Optional filter upgrades are available to boost the filtration level while versatile main or optional wall controls make it easy to manage excess humidity and air flow throughout the home. more info

Venmar HE (High Efficiency) HRV Series (1.3, 1.8 and 2.6)

Venmar High Efficiency Ventilators have the most powerful and efficient heat recovery performance on the market. They deliver unparalleled indoor air quality and excess humidity control to medium size homes (refer to local building code). This state-of-the-art unit also comes with feature-rich main and optional wall controls and push-buttons for added functionality offering even greater home comfort. If youre willing to spend a little more for the best heat recovery system (HRV) on the market, install a High Efficiency air exchanger. more info

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