The Pros and Cons of Heat Recovery Systems

A heat recovery ventilation system uses a core unit, blower fans and a series of channels to extract moist and stale air from damp rooms in your home.



A heat recovery ventilation (HRV) system uses a core unit, blower fans and a series of channels to extract moist and stale air from damp rooms in your home. The air is then expelled before drawing in fresh, filtered air from outside. During this process, heat is recovered from the extracted air and brought back into the home.

Different pipes are used to extract and supply air, thus eliminating any chances of cross-contamination and ensuring that the air entering your home is as clean as possible. Coupled with their efficiency, HRV systems are becoming increasingly popular alternatives to traditional home heating solutions.

There are a number of benefits that HRV systems provide. But are there any downsides? If you’re wondering whether an HRV system is suitable for your home, read on to learn more about their pros and cons.


Pro: Reduced Carbon Footprint

An HRV is one way that you can reduce the carbon footprint created by your home and do your part for the environment. This is because their design is incredibly efficient.

The system is made up of two fans, one to expel old air and one to bring in fresh air from outside. During this process, around 85% of old heat is retained. HRV systems also reduce carbon dioxide levels.







Pro: Lower Energy Usage

Compared to boilers or air conditioners, HRVs are significantly more energy-efficient. The fans run continuously but use very little energy. A typical HRV unit can consume a mere 13 watts of electricity, which is about the same as a single compact fluorescent light bulb. You can expect to save around 30% on heating bills with an HRV.


Pro: Cleaner Indoor Air

Modern homes are built to be airtight in order to retain heat in winter and stay cool in summer. Consequently, they require a moisture control system to prevent the buildup of pollen, mould, mildew and other contaminants. HRVs work around the clock to expel moist air and replace it with clean, fresh air from outside.


Con: Space Usage

One potential downside is that an HRV system does require some space. However, an installation expert can help you determine a suitable solution. In most cases, they’ll be installed in the attic of your home, which means they’ll probably be utilising otherwise empty space.


Con: No Cooling

An HRV is designed to heat your home but cannot cool it. An easy workaround is to disable the system in summer and open your windows instead. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy some more time outdoors!


Choosing an HRV

Nearby distributors will likely have an HRV that is suited to your local climate. Of course, you can always order one online. Consider features such as air filters, speed controls, and air sensors when looking for the right model for your home. The Home Ventilation Institute provides independent test results detailing performance ratings for different HRV systems.



It’s clear that HRVs are a worthwhile investment. The few cons they’re associated with are merely easy workarounds, so if you’re looking for a way to reduce your energy usage, heat your home and improve its air quality, consider picking up an HRV system.







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