What is an Energy Recovery Ventilator or ERV?

A complicated HVAC system that controls air temperature, humidity, and particles in our built environment includes an 

energy recovery ventilator, or ERV. An ERV is a piece of energy-efficient ventilation equipment that simultaneously ventilates part of the home’s “bad” or stale air while bringing in ne

w air. An especially created capillary plate divides the supply and exhaust airstreams, enhancing the enthalpic heat transfer process. This transfer enables us to maintain humidity indoors during dry weather or to reroute extra moisture back to the exhaust airstream during humid weather. We also release surplus heat or recapture it. Last but not least, the ERV contributes to this process by cleaning the air as it filters provided air. We must understand that when humidity and temperature variations are too great, our HVAC systems cannot keep up. The ERV aids in balancing these extremes.















Whole House Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) Explained


The fundamental ventilation purpose of an ERV is to maintain “predictable” and “uneventful” air flows in our systems. Toxins are diluted and indoor air quality is improved by bringing in fresh air, which is then evacuated through an exhaust fan to maintain system balance. The concept of maintaining regulated air pressure inside the house is crucial and advantageous. More builders and residents should be educated about this technology as it transitions from a cutting-edge building practice to a code and healthy home requirement, according to the building industry.


Our HVAC systems can operate more efficiently by moderating or tempering the air. Consider this: Would we want to carelessly vent away humid air in the winter only to bring in drier, colder air that requires heating and humidification? We can conserve a significant amount of energy by recovering heat and moisture. To catch or expel the heat and humidity that aren’t ideal, it’s advisable for both builders and occupants to balance supply and exhaust air flows.


The debate about upfront costs and ERV ROI is interesting, but it depends on how ROI is defined. Although ERVs technically consume energy, they improve the efficiency of the rest of our systems. Extremes in temperature and humidity are uncomfortable for most people, and if they are not effectively controlled, we run the danger of numerous physical and financial issues. Mould, mildew, and pests pose a risk to our property, and poor indoor air quality puts individuals at risk for respiratory and other disorders.


Panasonic’s Intelli-Balance 200


The Intelli-Balance 200 is a 200 cfm application and a member of the same product family as the WhisperComfort model, which operates at 20–40 cfm and the Intelli-Balance 100, which operates at 100 cfm. Up to a 7500 sf home can be serviced by the Intelli-Balance 200.


Here are some convenient important Intelli-Balance features:Panasonic FV-20VEC1 Intelli-Balance 200 ERV - Temparate / Cold Climate

  • Two DC motors with unique pressurisation techniques
  • When there is more demand for airflow due to increased activity or occupancy, the boost function enables this to happen under the control of the tenant.
  • MERV 13 supply filter; MERV 8 and HEPA filters are optionally available.
  • A condensate pipe or drain are not necessary for the appliance.
  • Designed to connect to existing ducting or be used independently
  • Carry handles facilitate installation and increase worker safety.
  • Optional LCD removal
  • Created for single-family homes and newly constructed, airtight dwellings that adhere to energy efficiency criteria
  • Designed for every climate zone in North America
  • Can function in places with low temperatures of -22°F (-30°C). When the outside temperature lowers to 14°F, the defrost cycle function begins to work.
  • High-efficiency core material penetrated with an anti-mold treatment that
  • recovers heat and balances moisture
  • 67 CFM, a sensible recovery rate (SRE) of 83%
  • Constant supply and exhaust airflows are controlled separately.
  • external restrictions
  • Meets the requirements of Novo Climate and ENERGY STAR Ontario.
  • Three choices for installation – the floor, wall, or ceiling (chain mount and brackets included)
  • Includes static pressure ports and instructions for balancing
  • For a professional appearance from a professional installer, use a powder coat finish. No corrosion or fingerprints
  • 3 years for all other parts, 6 years for the ECM motor


The MERV 13 supply-side filter that is standard for high-quality filtration without sacrificing efficiency is included with the Intelli-Balance 200. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, assesses how well filters function when they capture particles between.3 and 10 micrometres in size. The MERV rating should be as high as possible. HEPA filters, which are considerably finer, stand for High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filters. In places with greater levels of air pollution, during wildfires, or in the case of other irritants, HEPA filters may make sense. Ken says that because a HEPA filter is working harder to trap more particulate matter, it will need to be inspected and cleaned more frequently.


With the Intelli-Balance 200, Panasonic, which takes pride in producing silent ventilation devices, achieves this goal by carefully placing the fan motors inside the appliance and employing an EPS insulation covering all throughout. This is effective and promotes operations since noisy fans prompt users to turn off equipment. Additionally, the Intelli-Balance 200 is a small device for what it performs, which might also help with noise reduction.


Ken advises using ERVs constantly. Theoretically, moisture could gather when this equipment is not in use. Even though Panasonic has included an anti-mold treatment, it is never a good idea for moisture to stay in the core.


When is an ERV Ideal?


An ERV moderates temperature and humidity variations while balancing airflows. In non-extreme differentials, it considerably aids in managing both sensible (heat) and latent (moisture) loads, which eases the burden on the remainder of this complicated system. However, an ERV is not a stand-alone heater, air conditioner, humidifier, or dehumidifier. It is a component of a system that, when properly designed and constructed, enables energy-efficient temperature, ventilation, filtration, and humidity control. An ERV assists in air conditioning and reduces unnecessary energy loss. An ERV works best in a habitable environment where people will be, where we usually heat or cool, and where it makes sense to condition our air for most or all of the time.


It’s interesting to hear Ken and Green Builder Matt Hoots discuss the current advancement of HVAC design and architectural thought as well as when an ERV makes the most sense. Matt points out that there is still plenty to learn about HVAC systems. He discusses the distinctions between supply-side ventilation and balanced ventilation, which particularly exhausts troublesome air from important spaces like kitchens and toilets instead of using exhaust ventilation (pressurising the structure and pushing the air out). The two explore when and where particular components or tactics might work best. Everyone is welcome to contribute to this fascinating dialogue, which we intend to continue. When constructing the ideal system, it’s critical to take the size, airtightness, and climate zone into account.

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