Indoor air quality is a hot topic every spring, and this year it’s on people’s minds a whole lot more. For my customers who ask me about improving the air quality in their house, I highly recommend an Energy Recovery Ventilator system or ERV.
In a nutshell, these products make the air as fresh as if you had all your windows open — even better, in fact.
So what is it? How does it work, and what does it do? We’ll get into all that, and I’ll explain why Clean Comfort stands out as the best choice for home ventilation options.
ERV stands for Energy Recovery Ventilation. It’s a system that gets rid of stale air in your house and replaces it with fresh air from outside. And, it does this continuously, and you don’t lose any of your air conditioning like you would if you just opened your windows.
After all, that’s the trade-off you make when the weather gets too hot.
Sure, things are cooler and less humid when you close the windows and turn on your AC. But you lose the comfort of fresh air flowing through your house when you turn on your AC. And you reduce your indoor air quality.
Because, believe it or not, the air outside your house is usually cleaner than the air inside.
Sure, you’d think the air quality in your house is better than outside, right? After all, there’s so much garbage and pollution out there. Meanwhile, you keep your home clean and do your best not to track in dirt.
But, you generate a lot of pollutants on your own. There are odors from cooking or the bathrooms. Mold and mildew form in homes all the time. And, then there’s dander if you have pets.
Finally, add on anything that you do track in from outside; dirt, dust, viruses, bacteria, pollen, and more. Maybe it’s not a big deal in the spring or fall when you have your windows open. But, that changes in the winter and summer.
Once you turn on your heat or AC, you keep the windows shut. Then, all that stuff gets trapped inside.
People with allergies or asthma have it the worst during these times. No matter how well they clean, nothing beats fresh air blowing through your home.
Until now — thanks to ERVs. But how does it work?
The Energy Recovery Ventilator is an appliance we install as part of your HVAC system. It sits in between the ductwork in your home and a duct leading outside. This way, it draws fresh air from outside while getting rid of stale, humid air that’s been inside.
But, there’s a significant, extra step: the ERV pumps out the moisture and transfers the heat from one air stream to another.
This way, you get the fresh air from outside while getting rid of excess humidity in your home. The “recovery” part happens as heat from the air being discharged is “recovered” by transferring to the fresh air coming in.
And, there’s one more level to this: filtration.
There’s a MERV-rated air filter inside the ERV. It works like the regular one-inch air filter you likely have on your furnace, trapping dust and other small particles, so they don’t circulate through the house.
But, this filter is much more powerful than the standard consumer-grade filters. It catches particles smaller than one micron — and, for scale, bacterial cells are between one and 10 microns long.
Improving your indoor air quality is like giving your home a flu shot: It makes the air you breathe much better and keeps you healthy as a result. And, in these cases, an ERV is just what the doctor ordered.
For homes like mine Elgin, IL, along with any in East Dundee, Barrington, or other towns in the Fox River Valley, I recommend Clean Comfort systems.
For my money, these do the best job of filtering the air coming into your house and keeping the entire home feeling comfortable, cool, and dry.
They offer 99 percent energy recovery, meaning you “keep” 99 percent of your air conditioning with only a tiny amount “leaking out” during the ventilation process. Overall, it’s literally industrial-level air purification.
If you’re looking for relief from allergies and asthma when you’re at home — or if you’re just ready to make the air inside feel as fresh as a summer day outside, call or email us here at Compass, Heating, and Air.
We’ll answer any questions and help you design the air purification setup that’s perfect for your home.