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Energy Recovery Ventilators

An energy recovery ventilator can help make mechanical ventilation more cost effective by reclaiming energy from exhaust airflows. ERVs use heat exchangers to heat or cool incoming fresh air, recapturing 60 to 80 percent of the conditioned temperatures that would otherwise be lost. Models that exchange moisture between the two air streams are referred to as Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs). ERVs are especially recommended in climates where cooling loads place strong demands on HVAC systems. However, keep in mind that ERVs are not dehumidifiers. They transfer moisture from the humid air stream (incoming outdoor air in the summer) to the exhaust air stream. But, the dessicant wheels used in many ERVs become saturated fairly quickly and the moisture transfer mechanism becomes less effective with successive hot, humid periods. In some cases, ERVs may be suitable in climates with very cold winters. If indoor relative humidity tends to be too low, what available moisture there is in the indoor exhaust air stream is transferred to incoming outdoor air.

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