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The Power of the Energy Recovery Ventilator in Summer

sun-and-snowflake-badgeHere’s a conundrum when it comes to cooling down a house during the summer: a house that’s closed up tightly will enjoy much better air conditioning and energy efficiency, but it will also suffer from poor indoor air quality because no fresh currents blow through from the outside. Opening the window to bring in fresh air also means letting the heat in. So you either have to settle for having cool air or fresh air.

Except you don’t have to choose one or the other! You can have both thanks to a device called the energy recovery ventilator (ERV) installed into the HVAC system. An ERV is beneficial for both summer and winter weather, but in this pose we’re going to focus on the most immediate benefit, which is helping with our extremely high summer temperatures.

Energy Recovery Ventilators Pre-Cool Fresh Air

The basic way an ERV helps a home is that it brings in a current of fresh air from outside and into the ventilation system, but it pre-cools this air before it enters the air conditioner. This prevents the AC from having to put in extra work to cool down the hot air from outside. The house receives fresh air as it exhausts stale air, all without making the air conditioner system strain to keep up.

How does an ERV do this? It isn’t because there’s an extra air conditioning system cooling down the incoming fresh air. Or ice, or cold water, or anything like that. The way an ERV pre-cools this air is through the natural process of how heat moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. If a current of hot air moves past a current of cooler air, the hot air will lose heat to the other current and cool down.

An ERV takes the cooled air inside a home—the air that the AC has already expended energy to cool—and runs a current of it through a heat exchanger along with the hot air pulled in from the outside. Through counterflow heat exchange, the fresh but hot air loses heat to the stale but cool air. In this way, the ERV “recovers” the energy originally used to cool the indoor air and applies it to the fresh air. The fresh air, now cooled down, enters the air conditioner, while the stale air is exhausted outside.

The difference this makes can be tremendous: an ERV can recover more than 80% of the energy of the air conditioning system and use it to cool down the incoming fresh air. A house enjoys better quality air without having to see an awful spike in energy bills. And, as mentioned above, an ERV also works in winter—it just allows the warm indoor air to heat up the cool outdoor air.

You need to have an HVAC company in Cinnaminson, NJ handle installing an energy recovery ventilator, and you can depend on our ventilation professionals to do the job. We offer complete satisfaction—it’s what sets Gibson apart.

Schedule great indoor air quality services today. Gibson Heating & Cooling serves the Cherry Hill area.

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