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Choosing HRV or ERV

An ERV retains (not generates or adds) a little bit of the moisture leaving your home, so they tend to do better in extreme cold dry climates; and/or when you have large fluctuations between indoor/outdoor humidity.  The  converse is true, an HRV will help in humid or damp climates when you’re trying to get moisture out of your home. If your indoor air is more humid, which is generally the case, an ERV will add moisture to the incoming fresh-air (even if you don’t want it to). 

Here are some points to think of:

Number of people in the home

An HRV fits the needs of a larger, active family that generates a lot of humidity. Conversely, the fewer people in the home and/or ;ess active home, the drier the air will be, in which case the ERV is the better choice.

Age of the home

Older homes tend to have basements with higher humidity levels and must be ventilated to order to prevent a host of health and safety issues. HRV's do better in these applications by making sure humidity levels are kept low with fresh outdoor air continuously being circulated within.

Typical Activities at home

Homes with a larger number of people and/or ones with extended shower or bath activity, lots of stove-top cooking, and those homes that have utilities such as spas and saunas would also benefit more from having a HRV.

Dimensions & Air Tightness

In general, HRV units are best suited to small or medium-sized homes, where indoor humidity can quickly accumulate and need to be expelled. ERVs, on the other hand, can better serve larger, well sealed homes where the air can be drier. However the better the envelope is sealed, the more humidity stays in, making the HRV the way to go.

Type of heating system

In a wood-heated environment, which is more likely to be drier, an ERV will promote a healthier humidity level.

Regional climate

ERVs are best suited for very cold and very dry climates like those of Quebec City, for example. HRVs work better in milder, more humid winters of Toronto and Vancouver.

Cost & Humidity Management

An HRV with Humidifier (or) an ERV with dehumidifier is always going to give you the best overall results, and to achieve the actual IAQ (Temperature / Humidity) you want. The cheaper, more cost-effective option being a combination of an HRV and stand-alone Humidifier, both in terms of installation and capital cost.

See our product selections below 

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