Knowledge Center

Insulation and Air Quality: ERV

Valuable information about an energy recovery ventilator.

One of the main advantages of a well-insulated and well-sealed building envelope is that it takes less energy to heat and cool the home. An efficient building envelope keeps the conditioned air within the home that needs a smaller furnace and/or air-conditioner that is working less often — and this translates into real savings on the utility bills.

But when a home is well sealed a new problem arises — the home becomes a plastic bag, which means any pollutants, such as dust, that may get in the home “stay” in the home. To solve this particular problem, the home needs to be ventilated, and this is where an ERV (energy recovery ventilator) comes into affect.

An ERV pulls in outside air and exhausts the stale air from inside the home, and it does this in an efficient way by using the “exhausted” air to condition — or heat or cool — the incoming fresh air. For example, during the heating season the cold outside air is being tempered with the indoor air via the ERV and, therefore, you’ll be saving a good deal of heated air. The reverse is true in the cooling season.

This means the home should be energy efficient and comfortable during the changing season all-year round.