Written by Brad Crawford
The IAQ (indoor air quality) of your North Texas home is one of two major concerns when dealing with a sweltering summer. It may not be the most obvious summer problem, but the average home’s IAQ is relatively poor, leading to allergies, asthma, and illness. The summer’s high humidity makes your indoor air quality even worse.
The other concern is keeping your energy bills down while cooling your home. Fortunately, there’s a solution that can help you deal with both problems simultaneously. It’s called Energy Recovery Ventilation.
Your indoor air quality is likely much worse than the quality of the air outside. If the same air cycles through your A/C over and over again, eventually it becomes stale. So one of the keys to raising your IAQ is keeping a steady supply of fresh air coming in from outdoors, while expelling stale indoor air back outside.
An ERV, when operating during the cooling process, takes the heat from the incoming air and transfers it to the outgoing air. The two streams are run side by side, separated by a thin wall. As they pass by one another, a heat exchanger is used to condition the warm incoming air using the cool air that’s leaving your home. That way, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home to its desired temperature. The process is reversed in the winter, with the ERV removing heat energy from the indoor air as it flows outside.
An ERV can recover and reuse up to 80 percent of the energy from the air before it’s expelled back outside. In addition, it can transfer some of the water vapor from the humid incoming air into the outgoing air, before the air conditioner dehumidifies it further, making your home feel fresher and cooler.
An ERV is a great way to lower your energy bills and raise your IAQ. The one drawback, though, is that it can be expensive to install, especially when compared with other systems. However, one type of ERV set-up can make use of your existing ductwork, saving on installation costs.
For more advice on raising your IAQ and lowering your energy bills this summer, contact our experts at Crawford Services, Inc. We proudly serve the HVAC needs of the Greater Dallas Metro area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in North Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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