Sunday, November 17, 2013

Recycling Energy with ERV Systems

Even with proper insulation, new windows, and a newly-installed roof, cool and warm air inside the house will find its way out one way or another. It's not like the house is strictly airtight. If energy is lost in the process, then the least you can do is collect some of it before it's lost for good.

This is the objective of energy recovery ventilation (ERV): outgoing energy is collected and reused to cool or warm incoming air. The promise of energy savings—with a payback period of between one and three years—is enough to attract more households into installing ERVs. You probably know that an ERV system recycles heat and puts it back on the HVAC grid, but how does it do it?

The function depends on the type of ERV system used; the most popular is the rotary wheel system. Although relatively inexpensive, rotary wheels require more maintenance than other ERV systems on the market. The system stores precious energy otherwise lost as exhaust to be used to warm outside air when it comes in, thereby reducing demand for more Btu.

It also works the same with cool air; rotary wheel systems store the cold air for cooling incoming warm air. Experts estimate that homes can save as much as 75 percent on their energy bills by recycling precious energy. 


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