Learn How to Get the Most Out of Your Homes' Air Exchanger

Are you thinking of buying a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), an energy recovery ventilator (ERV), or maybe you already own an air exchanger? In this post, we share critical information about how to get the most out of your residential air exchanger, as well as some tips and tricks that many people don’t know.

After reading this post, you will understand the basic owner maintenance required to keep your units running, how to get the most out of your air exchanger at difference times of the year, and better understand the options for different controls for customizing your air exchanger usage.

Proper Installation with a Balanced Flow Makes all the Difference

It is very important that your air exchanger is installed and set up properly. Balanced air flow is critical so that you do not depressurize or pressurize your home, as both of these conditions can have adverse consequences.

If you recently purchased an air exchanger from BPH Sales and are unsure if your system is correctly balanced after professional installation, don’t hesitate to contact our team for support and advice.

Air Exchangers Do Require Regular Maintenance!

An air exchanger will require regular owner maintenance, whether it is a HRV or an ERV. The maintenance may be different for each homeowner, depending on the climate where you live, the frequency of use, and the neighbourhood where your home is located (for example, polluted air will likely require more maintenance for an air exchanger).

Most air exchangers, including ALL offered by BPH Sales, have reusable filters in them as well as re-usable, cleanable exchanger cores. Keep these filters and cores clean to keep your unit running at its optimal performance and to provide continued balanced airflow. The filters clean the exhaust air from the building and the incoming outside air prior to air flow through the exchanger core.

The filter for the incoming outside air (fresh air) may need to be checked and cleaned more often than the other filters, depending on your home’s location. During certain times of the year, these intake filters can become restricted by bugs, fuzz off trees, dust, or other airborne particles. It is good practice to check all the air exchanger filters once a month and clean them as needed.

Heat exchanger cores and energy recovery cores should only ever be cleaned as per manufacturer instructions, which typically recommend once or twice a year. Please refer to the documentation provided with your new HRV or ERV for further details.

How often should I change my HRV filter?

As mentioned above, all air exchangers offered by BPH Sales feature re-usable filters and cores that can be cleaned. Typically, HRV or ERV filters only need to be replaced if the old filter has been damaged, when upgrading to a different filter rating (such as a HEPA filter or MERV-13 filter), or if you are recommended to replace the filter by the manufacturer or your maintenance provider.

How often should you operate your HRV?

When installed and set up properly, continuous operation of an air exchanger will provide you with constant air changes and fresh air into your structure. Some ERV and HRV controls allow intermittent operation where the unit will operate for a set period of time and then be off for a set period of time, such as 20 minutes on, then 40 minutes off.

Some air exchanger controls provide an adjustable humidity level setting to change the exhaust capacities if higher than desired humidity is detected. With this, an HRV may switch to high speed in an attempt to exhaust more indoor air and bring in less humid outdoor air.

However, this is only attainable if the outdoor air is at a lower humidity level than the inside air. Depending on your location, seasonal outdoor air may have increased humidity levels above that desired for your indoor setting. To avoid your unit operating at a maximum velocity and actually introducing more humidity into your structure, the comfort setting for the indoor humidity may need to be manually adjusted accordingly.

Our wide selection of OEM air exchanger controls allow you to choose the products you need.

Seasonal Changes Will Impact How You Should Use an Air Exchanger

You may want to be aware of the frequency of operation during hot humid weather or during very cold weather. For example, HRV operation in the summer when very hot humid weather is present will introduce heat and humidity into your structure. If you have and are operating an air conditioning system, this will be trying to cool and dehumidify the interior conditions of your structure

Do I need to run my air exchanger during the summer?

Possibly! If you prefer opening your windows at certain times of the year, such as the summer, you may not need to operate your HRV or ERV air exchanger as often as you may already be providing adequate ventilation throughout your home with the open windows.

Your HRV or ERV provides your home with fresh, filtered, clean air while expelling stale, stagnant air from inside. Having open windows with a fresh breeze may already suffice, depending on your homes needs, the humidity levels, and a range of other factors.

Still have questions about how to best use your air exchanger?

Reach out to our team using the chat box below with your questions!

May 13, 2023

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