by Srikanth Puttagunta, PE
Builders believe that if they install an Energy Recovery or Heat Recovery Ventilator (E/HRV) they have ensured good indoor air quality. In reality, that's seldom the case.
To deliver the needed fresh air, an E/HRV must be installed in a way that guarantees balanced airflows—where the intake and exhaust airstreams move equal volumes. But the design of these units makes proper installation difficult and, when integrated with the HVAC system (as most are), almost ensures that they fail to work as advertised.
Of course, an E/HRV costs more than other ventilation strategies, so if it doesn't do what it's intended to, the builder has wasted that extra money.
Steven Winter Associates is collaborating with a major manufacturer to develop an ERV that solves the shortcomings of conventional units. We have completed the second prototype. We hope to have a final design by Fall of 2019 with commercial availability sometime in 2020.
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