So What Exactly Is An HRV?
An HRV or Heat Recovery Ventilator is a system that keeps warm air in while pushing stale air out.
Due to today’s house building techniques and renovations being more thermally efficient, the air flow in our homes is lacking which results in fresh air changes only happening when doors and windows are opened. Opening a window can help, but it is not very economical. Thus, the HRV was born.
A typical unit has two fans – one to take out household air and the other to bring in fresh air. What makes an HRV unique is the heat-exchange core. The core transfers the heat from the outgoing air to the incoming air. So while the old stale air is removed, the heat we pay for remains.
Not only does it ensure that the indoor polluted air is regularly being replaced by an equal quantity of fresh clean air, but many allergy sufferers have found relief from symptoms using an HRV as well. The system filters the air coming into the home before dispersing it and can remove many common allergens, such as pollen and dust, in addition to regulating humidity levels preventing mold and mildew issues.
A heat recovery ventilator can make your house a cleaner and healthier living environment; all while helping keep fuel bills down.
“Why having a humidifier can improve your home, your skin, and your overall health”.
Winter air is dry. This dry air can cause a multitude of problems for your family and your home. Dry cracking skin and lips, nose bleeds, and sore throats are just some of the symptoms of not having enough moisture in the air. Many people don’t realize the benefit that humidifiers actually offer. For the most part, they’re only used during the winter months in order to help with the air being so dry. The reason why the air gets dry during these months is actually because we put the heat on in our homes. While the heat is desirable for warming us up, it decreases the humidity in the air, therefore leaving you with a very dry environment and very dry skin.
Humidifiers, at the most basic level, emit water vapor into a space to increase the level of humidity. When air has more moisture skin is more hydrated reducing sore lips and throats. It even serves as a preventative measure, limiting or eliminating viruses and bacteria that thrive in dry air, restricting their ability to cause colds and flu infections.
Wood furniture, wood molding or wood floors are another reason having properly saturated air is so important. Wood contains small pores that absorb moisture. When the necessary amount of moisture is unavailable the pores in the wood will dry out and shrink causing cracks and costly damage.
Having a humidifier is both a health conscious and financially responsible choice. Having a humidifier may help you avoid getting sick this winter, but it can also give you softer, more glowing skin, and even help preserve your home.
We are coming across many homes using the $30-$40.00 1″ Merv 11-13 furnace filters. The higher the Merv rating the finer the particles that are caught in the filter, which seems to be common knowledge at this point. However, that also means more restriction to your airflow. Straight out of the packaging it will restrict your airflow more than a basic Merv 8 pleated filter ($10), so it doesn’t take much dust to start effecting the efficiency and life span on your forced air system.
If you have allergies, asthma or just simply hate the thought of airborne particles in your home we would recommend you stay away from the 1″ Merv11+ filters, and upgrade to a 5″ filter to allow for better airflow. We can install this simple 5″ media filter rack in most homes for as little as $250.00. Which will prolong the life of your equipment and allow higher efficiency. We offer a full line of clean air products that are high in filtration and easy on your HVAC system.
“Set it and forget it”
Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and leave it alone. It’s much easier for your AC to control humidity when it’s left to a set temperature. Every time you turn the temperature way up or turn the thermostat off, your AC needs to work overtime to dehumidify and get your home back up to a comfortable temperature. Not only does this increase the wear and tear on your system, but will result in higher energy consumption as well.
Here are 5 easy ways to save you money on your utilities in 2015
- Make sure your furnace filter is replaced regularly. Frequency depends on the type of filter you currently have. Some filters are designed to be replaced on a monthly basis, others quarterly and some semi-annually.
- Ensure you have your heating and cooling equipment inspected and maintained annually. This can save you approximately 5% on your utilities, while reducing your risk of equipment breakdowns.
- Get your forced air system balanced. This will ensure that all areas of the home are receiving the required air flow. With a balanced system your equipment will run more efficiently.
- Keep your blinds and curtains closed in the summer months so you’re not gaining excess heat. However, we want curtains and blinds open in the winter months so we can use the sun light to add additional heat to our home.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Setting back your thermostat a couple degrees when your sleeping or gone to work for the day can save you up to 15% on the portion of your utility bill that is directly related to heating and cooing
Customers often ask us this question and the simple answer is, yes, your furnace should be maintained annually. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Technicians will not only clean, but also inspect the furnace for safe operation. They will test numerous furnace components and recommend replacing any that may fail in the near future. This is called preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance will save you time and money in the long run. There are usually coupons or promotions that make this annual maintenance affordable and far less expensive that a service call on a cold snowy night.
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WARNING! We are coming across a lot of the ABS venting on power-vented water heaters that is cracked. If you have a water heater with ABS coming off the top, please take the time to inspect for visible cracks in the first 90 or 45 degree fitting. That pipe is responsible for exhausting harmful fumes outside and if it has a crack itwill allow those deadly off-gases (Carbon Monoxide) into your home. The have changed the code so that new furnaces and water heaters require a specific PVC venting material that is resistant to temperature fluctuations, however the old ABS is allowed to remain on older units until the unit is replaced or the ABS requires repair. At that point the entire venting system requires the upgrade to PVC.
We are all familiar with our air conditioner being the large square box at the side or back of our house. However, your central air conditioner is a system with many components. Everyone knows their furnace or air handler is what heats them over the winter, however not everyone realizes the same blower motor that gives you heat in the winter also cycles your cool air in the summer. As you can see from the diagram, there is an evaporator coil above the furnace(normally hidden in your duct work). That evaporator is what the cold refrigerant is pumped through by the outdoor unit or condenser. Your furnace fan motor is forcing the warm air in your home across the cold evaporator coil in your duct work. The cold refrigerant absorbs the heat from your home and rejects it outside. If your furnace filter is dirty, there is less warm air blowing across your evaporator coil and therefore less cool air being cycled in your home. Likewise, if the outdoor condenser is dirty or covered by bushes, it is unable to reject as much heat from your home.