How Does an ERV Work and What Are Its Benefits?

Today’s homes are tightly built, making them remarkably energy-efficient. However, homes in Rancho Mirage, California, are often so well-sealed that they retain unwanted indoor air pollutants, which can compromise your health. Luckily, this issue is easy to fix. Installing an ERV will improve indoor air quality, boost HVAC efficiency, help with odor control, and modify the relative humidity levels in your home.

How Does an ERV Work?

ERVs are equipped with two fans, one that draws fresh air into your home and one that pulls stale air out. When these two airstreams pass through the ERV, a heat exchanger within the system transfers heat and moisture from one airstream to the other. The system can transfer about 99 percent of the heat energy from the stale, outgoing air and apply it to the fresh, incoming air. This allows the ERV to provide your home with fresh air at a temperature that’s close to the temperature of the air already inside.

Benefits of ERVs

ERVs come with a host of advantages for homeowners. Whether you’re thinking about having one installed in a new build or added to an existing home, you’ll enjoy several benefits after installation.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

When an ERV flushes stale air out of your home, it also flushes out the pollutants contained in it. Additionally, the ERV filters the outside air, capturing contaminants such as pollen, dust, and other outdoor pollutants before they can get inside your house. This leads to improved indoor air quality. Good indoor air quality is associated with improved sleep, better concentration, and fewer respiratory issues.

Better HVAC Efficiency

When an ERV transfers heat energy between incoming and outgoing airstreams, it effectively pre-cools or pre-heats (depending on the season) the air entering your home. This decreases the amount of work your HVAC system has to do, boosting its efficiency, decreasing energy usage, and lowering utility bills.

Improved Moisture Control

An ERV helps maintain relative humidity levels in your home. When an ERV transfers heat energy between two streams of air, it also transfers the moisture that’s contained in them. So, when the two airstreams enter the ERV, the system takes some of the moisture from the more humid airstream and applies it to the less humid airstream. This helps keep most of the humidity out of your home during the warm, humid months and allows some humidity to stay inside during the cool, dry months.

That said, ERVs aren’t dehumidifiers. They simply help with moisture control. If you want to dehumidify and ventilate at the same time, consider having a whole-home dehumidifier installed as well.

Improved Odor Control

By removing airborne contaminants from your home and filtering the incoming air, an ERV will help with odor control. Odors from pets, cooking ingredients, and other sources are greatly decreased, helping the air in your home smell fresh, crisp, and clean.

Easy Maintenance

ERVs are easy to maintain. An HVAC technician will clean and inspect it during your annual maintenance visits, and you’ll need to change the filter every few months. Other than that, ERVs require very little intervention from you.

Controlled Ventilation

When you open your windows to let in some fresh air, large amounts of conditioned air escape, resulting in a huge energy loss. This issue is compounded by the more extreme temperatures of the winter months. ERVs prevent this type of energy loss and give you control over the amount of ventilation your home receives, allowing you to increase and decrease it as needed.

Increased Comfort Levels

Thanks to improved air quality, controlled ventilation, and moisture control, an ERV can vastly improve the comfort levels of your home in an energy-efficient manner. These capabilities go a long way in helping to make sure your home environment is clean, pleasant, and healthy.

If you have any questions about ERVs and improved indoor air quality or would like to have one installed, give the HVAC professionals at Palm Desert Air Conditioning and Heating Co. a call at 760-610-0297 today.

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