January 25, 2024

Year-Round Benefits of an Energy Recovery Ventilation System

With allergens and breathing issues on the rise, indoor air quality is more important than ever. Instead of constantly battling the heat or cold, your home can maintain the proper humidity levels with the installation of one product known as an energy recovery ventilation system. Often referred to as an ERV system by professionals, these impressive machines work all year round to improve the air quality and moisture in your home.

Before hiring a company to install the system, learn how these systems actually work for your home and the benefits they can provide through every season.

Dry Weather Winter Benefits in St. Louis, MO

A long winter can bring a lot of dry weather outdoors, and that dry air can easily transition into your home. An ERV system will typically get installed in an attic crawl space. If your home does not have an attic space, then an area like a deep closet or basement will provide an ideal installation spot for the ERV system.

While the system works two ways, in the winter, the main goal is to deliver a little moisture into the house and eliminate the need for separate humidifiers in various rooms of the home. The ERV system works by pulling in fresh air from the outside. The internal components of an ERV system will perform multiple steps to provide fresh air into the home. The air first goes through a filter that eliminates pollen and dust. The air filter will help provide you with the cleanest air possible so you don’t have to deal with any issues. Next, the air goes through a heating process. For a winter setting, warm air is essential so the temperature of your house does not dramatically cool. The ERV system works in tandem with a home’s heating system to keep temperatures ideal.

The air gets pushed through the home using multiple vents. A trained HVAC professional will map out the best way to run an ERV system through your home. Along with the warm filtered air, the moisture will make a big difference in how you get through the winter. When you sleep, your nose and throat will not dry out due to breathing in overly dry air overnight. The benefits will also extend to your skin and hair. In the winter, skin and hair can quickly dry out due to a lack of humidity in the air.

A new ERV system runs consistently to provide a home with fresh air but is quiet enough so that you will enjoy the benefits without hearing the system run all day long.

Summer Benefits of ERV Systems

An ERV system is not just limited to a single season. The benefits supplied in the winter are simply reversed for the summer. Your home may have much more moisture in the summer due to high humidity. The ERV system will work by taking the warm air from inside the house and pushing it outdoors. Excess moisture and stale, stagnant air are removed from the home. The end result will keep your home filled with fresh air.

The best comparison to the process in the summer is opening the window for fresh air. Unfortunately, many homes cannot simply open their windows due to high humidity and heat. If you run air conditioners, then many of the windows will stay shut all summer long and reduce the air quality. The installation of an ERV system completely changes this. Much like the cool-air-to-hot-air conversion in the winter, an ERV system will convert hot air to cool air in the summer. While an ERV system is not a complete replacement for a central air unit, it does provide complimentary services when used in conjunction with an air conditioning unit.

Between seasons, these systems will automatically convert and supply your home with the proper air needed. Thermostats and built-in sensors will help an ERV system operate how it should provide you with the proper airflow for each season.

ERV System Installation Process

Along with finding a spot for an ERV unit, you will need other elements to ensure the installation goes smoothly. One element includes power supply wiring. An HVAC technician may need to wire power for the unit as many of them do not come with a typical plug. The wiring will ensure the ERV system has constant power to operate the fans and adequately move the air through the house’s ducts.

In some cases, an ERV system may have a dedicated fuse in the fuse box to ensure proper operation. In other situations, an ERV system may connect to the same fuse for a specific room, like an attic. If your attic has minimal power options like a light, then putting the system on the attic’s fuse should not present any issues.

ERV Systems and HRV Systems

As you learn more about ERV systems, you may see information about HRV systems come up in your home. HRV stands for heat recovery ventilator and has been around for homes for quite some time. An HRV system is similar in how it moves cold air in and out during different seasons, but an ERV system is a step above because of how the technology moves moisture in and out of the house.

If you seek cleaner air and better breathing conditions, then you will want to select an ERV system. The ERV technology is essentially an upgrade from the HRV, especially in areas like St. Louis that go through four dramatic seasons filled with a mix of both dry and humid weather. When available, you should lean towards an ERV system over an HRV system simply for the advanced features and benefits. If you already have central air and heating, then the add-on benefits of an ERV system will only make your home feel more comfortable throughout the year, and you will not need to rely on extra gadgets in every room to do the job that an ERV system supplies.

Reach out to us at Scott-Lee Heating Company for all of your ERV system installations. During a consultation, we can take a tour of your home to determine the best installation locations and go through the ERV system installation process, including vent and duct locations. Our professionals have years of experience installing ERV systems, and we can optimize the system to make maximum use of your home. We are happy to answer any of your questions.

Along with ERV systems, we are proud to offer our customers a number of other valuable services. This includes furnace repair and installation, AC repair and installation, and HVAC zoning systems. During a single appointment, we can take care of multiple needs like geothermal installations, ductwork replacements, and complete inspections on your home. Contact us today at Scott-Lee Heating Company to set up an appointment to see how we can transform your home with an ERV system installation and other HVAC services.