Green Terms Defined: Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

Green Terms Defined: Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

An ERV or Energy Recovery Ventilator is part of a balanced ventilation system that transfers water vapor and heat from one airstream to another. In a mixed humid climate it works differently in the hot season and the cold season. In hot months, the ERV works to maintain the interior relative humidity of a structure as outside air is conditioned by the ERV entering the fresh air ventilation system. In cold months water vapor is captured from the outgoing air to humidify the incoming air.


An ERV or HRV (heat recovery ventilator) provides fresh air and improved climate control, while reducing the energy requirement for heating and cooling a building. 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. arrussell says:

    Good description of the ERV, but the note below the image suggests that ERV and HRV are the same, which you probably know (or should know) is not the case. Perhaps you could clarify the difference between the two.


  2. Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV) reclaim energy from exhausted stale indoor air to temper incoming fresh air – heat is retained during cooler seasons, and removed during warmer seasons.

    Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) are typically recommended for use in warmer climates where it is desired to remove humidity from incoming fresh air. While not a dehumidifier, ERV systems transfer moisture from incoming, humid air to the stale indoor air that is being vented to the outside.


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