Heat Recovery Ventilators in Commercial Buildings and MURBs

Heat recovery ventilators in high efficiency building
Commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) play a pivotal role in our urban landscape, providing spaces for business activities and housing for countless individuals. However, as these structures become increasingly energy-efficient, an unintended consequence arises – poor indoor air quality due to the lack of fresh air circulation. This is where Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) step in to not only enhance energy efficiency but also improve indoor air quality by efficiently exchanging heat between incoming and outgoing airflow. In this article, we delve into the world of HRVs in commercial buildings and MURBs, exploring their importance, benefits, and potential challenges that come with their implementation.

What is a heat recovery ventilator?

A heat recovery ventilator, also known as an HRV, is a device used in commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings to improve indoor air quality while enhancing energy efficiency. As these structures become more energy-efficient, a common issue arises – the lack of fresh air circulation leading to poor indoor air quality. HRVs solve this problem by efficiently exchanging heat between incoming and outgoing airflow. By recapturing heat from outgoing stale air and transferring it to fresh incoming air, HRVs not only reduce heating costs but also ensure proper ventilation, filtering out pollutants and toxins for healthier indoor environments.
Commercial buildings and MURBs can reap numerous benefits from HRVs. Apart from improving indoor air quality and reducing ventilation-related health risks, they also contribute towards energy conservation by maximizing the use of existing heat sources within the building. This saves on heating costs and reduces overall environmental impact. Additionally, HRVs help maintain consistent temperature levels inside the building by continuously refreshing stale air with filtered fresh outdoor air without significant fluctuations in temperature or excessive drafts. Overall, these devices are essential components for modern building systems that prioritize energy efficiency while ensuring a comfortable and healthy environment for occupants.

How do heat recovery ventilators differ for commercial buildings and single family homes?

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) in commercial buildings and single family homes differ primarily in terms of size, capacity, and control systems. Commercial HRVs are typically larger and more robust than those used in single-family homes due to the larger spaces they serve. They have higher airflow rates and greater heat-exchange capacities to meet the demands of larger indoor spaces.
Commercial HRVs also often feature more advanced control systems that can be integrated with building automation systems for centralized management. These controls allow for customized settings such as variable airflow rates based on occupancy or time of day, ensuring optimal energy efficiency while maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
On the other hand, HRVs in single-family homes are designed for smaller scale applications. They tend to have lower airflow rates but still provide sufficient ventilation for residential living spaces. Single-family home HRVs usually come with simpler control options that allow homeowners to adjust settings easily without complex programming knowledge.
In summary, while both commercial buildings and single family homes benefit from heat recovery ventilators, their designs vary to suit the specific requirements of each setting. Commercial HRVs offer higher capacity and advanced control features suitable for larger areas, whereas residential HRVs focus on providing efficient ventilation at smaller scales with user-friendly controls.

Do heat recovery ventilators only make sense in high efficiency buildings?

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) are often associated with high efficiency buildings due to their ability to enhance energy efficiency and improve indoor air quality. In these types of buildings, HRVs are a valuable addition as they efficiently exchange heat between incoming and outgoing airflow, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. However, it is erroneous to assume that HRVs only make sense in high efficiency buildings.
While it is true that the benefits of HRVs are more evident in energy-efficient structures where airtightness can lead to poor air circulation, all buildings can benefit from improved indoor air quality. In traditional or older buildings with lower levels of insulation and ventilation systems that may not meet modern standards, HRVs can still be installed to effectively remove stale air and bring in fresh outdoor air while retaining heat energy.
In summary, while HRVs may have been initially introduced with a focus on enhancing energy savings in high efficiency buildings, their ability to improve indoor air quality makes them suitable for installation in various types of commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings regardless of their level of energy efficiency.
What is the 75% efficiency goal to achieve with a heat recovery ventilator?
The 75% efficiency goal refers to the target set for heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) to achieve in effectively exchanging heat between incoming and outgoing airflow. HRVs are designed to enhance energy efficiency and improve indoor air quality by efficiently recovering heat from stale air being expelled and transferring it to fresh incoming air. The 75% efficiency goal is crucial in ensuring that a significant amount of the captured heat is effectively transferred, minimizing energy wastage and reducing heating costs while still providing adequate ventilation within commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs). Achieving this goal not only contributes to overall energy savings but also ensures a healthier indoor environment for occupants.
Heat recovery ventilator intake grill
What is the difference between a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) and an energy recovery ventilator (ERV)?
Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) are both types of ventilation systems that help improve indoor air quality in commercial buildings and MURBs. The main difference between the two lies in their ability to manage humidity levels.
HRVs help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and improve energy efficiency by exchanging heat between incoming and outgoing air streams. They remove stale indoor air while bringing in fresh outdoor air, without allowing the two streams to mix. HRVs are ideal for climates with extreme temperatures or high humidity levels.
On the other hand, ERVs not only exchange heat but also transfer moisture from one stream of airflow to another. This allows them to effectively regulate humidity levels inside a building. ERVs are particularly beneficial in humid climates where controlling moisture is essential for preventing mould growth and ensuring occupant comfort.
In summary, while HRVs primarily focus on heat exchange to enhance energy efficiency and promote better indoor air quality, ERVs go a step further by managing humidity levels as well. Choosing between the two depends on factors such as climate conditions and specific ventilation needs of the building or residential setting.
How can JDC Mechanical assist with installing heat recovery ventilators in new construction and retrofit?
 Our heating and cooling business can help both new construction projects and retrofit existing structures by installing heat recovery ventilators (HRVs). HRVs are an effective solution to address the issue of poor indoor air quality in energy-efficient buildings. These systems efficiently exchange heat between incoming and outgoing airflow, enhancing energy efficiency while also improving the circulation of fresh air indoors.
In new construction projects, our team can work closely with developers, architects, and contractors to integrate HRVs seamlessly into the building design. By doing so, we ensure that these ventilation systems are installed correctly from the beginning, maximizing their effectiveness in maintaining high indoor air quality.
From top to bottom, our experienced journeyman technicians will assess the space’s layout and requirements before recommending suitable HRV options. We prioritize a professional approach throughout all stages of installation to provide efficient functionality without disrupting day-to-day operations within these buildings.
Overall, we offer expertise in heat recovery for both new constructions and retrofits alike. Through this service, we contribute towards creating healthier indoor environments that promote well-being while supporting sustainability efforts through enhanced energy efficiency measures.  Please contact us for a no obligation quote.

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Property owners in Calgary are seeking economical, qualified, reliable and honest HVAC service. JDC Mechanical is not only red seal certified we also have over 25 years of experience to handle all of your commercial HVAC equipment installation and service needs.