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Basics & Theory

Healthy Heating: History Of HRVs & ERVs
Healthy Heating provides a history of heat recovery ventilators and energy recovery ventilators. Some of the earliest models to be marketed in North America dating back to the late 1970's.

Small Planet: Heat Recovery
Small Planet Supply online video explains the principles and application of Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) and Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHR), and how these simple yet highly effective technologies are instrumental in boosting overall building energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
Issues & Performance

CCHC: Three-Stage HRV Defrost Evaluation In Alaska
Alaska Cold Climate Housing Research Center paper discusses the effectiveness of various HRV frost protection strategies, the energy use of the system, and the effect of continuous ventilation on indoor air quality in a cold climate home.

CCHRC: ERV Effectiveness In Cold Climates
Alaska Cold Climate Housing Research Center study was designed to determine if ERVs improve indoor relative humidity over HRVs and to compare the energy recovery effectiveness of an ERV to that of an HRV. The study found that at indoor relative humidity levels above 25% the ERV can significantly improve the relative humidity over an HRV, but at lower RH there is less improvement in indoor humidity. The energy effectiveness data is inconclusive with the ERV and HRV core showing similar sensible effectiveness. (PDF)

CMHC: HRV/ERV Performance Issues in Northern Canada
CMHC report Survey of HRV/ERV Performance Issues in Canada's Near North and Far North summarizes a study to assess potential performance issues with heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and enthalpy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems. (PDF)

Energy Star: 2009 Specification For HRV & ERV Efficiency
Energy Star specification for HRV & ERV in Canada includes minimum sensible heat recovery efficiency and a minimum fan efficacy requirement. NRCan will release the final specification in the near future. Version 1.0 will be in effect July 1, 2009, with a revision of the specification to follow in July 2012. (PDF)

Home Energy: ERV Problems With Formaldehyde
Home Energy Magazine says some energy recovery ventilators ERVs can recover formaldehyde in the same way that they recover water.

NRC: Effectiveness of Balanced Ventilation System
Canadian National Research Council says exhaust-only ventilation showed lower whole-house air change rate, lower uniformity of air exchange rate between indoor spaces, higher concentrations of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds and higher whole-house energy consumption than did the balanced energy recovery ventilation system.

NRC: Test Method For IAQ Impact Of HRV & ERV
National Research Council of Canada describes a test method for evaluation of IAQ impact of balanced residential ventilation devices that Incorporate heat recovery ventilation and/or enthalpy recovery ventilation. (PDF)

NRCan: Energy Star Canada Qualifying Criteria For HRVs & ERVs
Natural Resources Canada lists their Energy Star qualifying criteria for residential heat recovery ventilators and energy recovery ventilators.

BC Housing: Heat Recovery Ventilation Considerations For Builders
BC Housing online bulletin describes heat recovery ventilation considerations for builders and designers. (PDF)

BC Housing: Heat Recovery Ventilation Guide For Houses
BC Housing online Heat Recovery Ventilation Guide For Houses consolidates best practices for the design, installation and maintenance of heat recovery ventilation systems in single family, semi-detached and row housing. It is intended to assist builders, renovators and owners gain a better understanding of heat recovery ventilators (HRV) and energy recovery ventilators (ERV) and how they can support a healthy indoor living environment. (PDF)

BC Housing: Maintaining Your Heat Recovery Ventilator
BC Housing describes issues and considerations for operation and maintenance of a heat recovery ventilator. (PDF)

Building Science: Balanced Ventilation Systems (HRVs & ERVs)
Building Science describes features. Benefits, and considerations for balanced ventilation systems (HRVs and ERVs).

CCHRC: Carpenter Guide to HRVs In Alaska
Cold Climate Housing Research Center online Heat Recovery Ventilator Guide for Carpenters describes design and installation considerations for HRVs in Alaska. (PDF)

CCHRC: Heat Recovery Ventilation
Cold Climate Housing Research Center says Heat Recovery Ventilators are the best way to provide balanced, continuous ventilation to the entire house while conserving energy in a cold climate. This article provides an overview of the purpose of HRVs as well as the different types, modes, efficiencies, and cost. (PDF)

CMHC: Heat Recovery & Energy Recovery Ventilators Guide For Property Managers
CMHC online guide Heat Recovery & Energy Recovery Ventilators Guide For Property Managers covers basic understanding of HRV and ERV, how to make it run efficiently, and how to keep it in good condition. (PDF)

CMHC: HRV & ERV Guide for High Rise Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
CMHC online guide HRV & ERV Guide for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings describes how to design, install and operate heat recovery and energy recovery ventilation systems in high rises. (PDF)

CMHC: Increasing Northern Housing Ventilation Rates With HRVs
CMHC research showed the increase in ventilation associated with the use of properly installed and operated HRVs in northern housing can reduce indoor air contaminants. (PDF)

CMHC: Maintaining An HRV
CMHC checklist reviews steps to maintain an HRV including cleaning & replacing of filters, servicing of fans, a simple test to determine if HRV is balancing fresh air flow with exhaust flow, when to call a service technician, and an easy-to-follow maintenance calendar. (PDF)

CMHC: Northern Mechanical Ventilation Equipment Design & Testing
CMHC research highlight Northern Mechanical Ventilation Equipment Design and Testing summarizes the analysis of existing codes or standards and/or currently available or emerging ventilation technologies to see if they are capable of addressing identified concerns. It also discusses the need for a Northern HRV performance specification and includes a draft of a Northern HRV technical specification. (PDF)

GBA: Choosing Between HRV & ERV
Green Building Advisor discusses whether a heat-recovery ventilator or an energy-recovery ventilator is right for a cold climate, when choosing equipment for a whole-house ventilation system.

GBA: Does Home With HRV Also Need Bath Fans?
Green Building Advisor says most homeowners find that an HRV with dedicated ductwork moves enough air to clear condensation from bathroom mirrors.

GBA: How To Balance An HRV
Green Building Advisor Q & A offers suggestions on how to balance the intake and exhaust of an HRV.

GBA: Integrating HRVs With Air Handlers
Green Building Advisor says in homes with forced air heating, the heating ducts can also be used for heat-recovery ventilation.

GBA: New Way To Duct HRVs
Green Building Advisor says in some types of new homes you may want to consider exhausting stale air from bedrooms instead of pulling exhaust air from bathrooms and the laundry room.

GBA: Six Steps to Success With Heat-Recovery Ventilation
Green Building Advisor describes how to ensure HRV whole-house ventilation works as a cornerstone of a high-performance house.

GBA: Ventilation Omission That Can Make You Sweat
Green Building Advisor says if you connect an ERV or HRV to your heating and cooling ducts, you'll need a way to stop the undesired inward flow of outdoor air.

JLC: Installing A Heat Recovery Ventilator
Journal of Light Construction article gives a good overview (with pictures) of how HRVs work, and an example of how they are installed. (PDF) Free Registration Required

NRCan: Heat Recovery Ventilators
Natural Resources Canada explains HRV's including the need for mechanical ventilation, the HRV system, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting guide and more. (PDF)
Product Supply

GBA: Are HRVs Cost-Effective?
Green Building Advisor says compared to a simple exhaust fan, a heat-recovery ventilator saves energy but it probably won't save enough to justify the high cost of the equipment.
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