Should I Install an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) for My Air Conditioner Installation?

Installing an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) correctly can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system and even help remove contaminated air from your bathroom. Recently, we installed two H2i Hyper Heat condensers, one MXZ-3C30NAHZ2 (3 tons) and the other MXZ-2C20NAHZ2 (2 tons). As homes become increasingly cramped, ventilation is essential to maintain indoor air quality and control humidity. We also installed a Mitsubishi mini split without ducts with four evaporators, in the living room and one in each room. An ERV is not a space heating appliance, a replacement air unit, a dehumidifier, or an energy saving device.

Even if installers follow the manufacturer's instructions for connecting ERVs to AHUs, they could end up with low flow rates, unbalanced flows, or high electricity consumption. It was thought that cold HRV air entering the furnace return system would cause problems in the oven's heat exchanger when supercooling it. An ERV allows you to bring fresh, temperature-controlled air into your home and, at the same time, eliminate stale and polluted air. I believe in stand-alone systems to provide balanced ventilation, since most homes require between 40 and 80 cfm of continuous ventilation. I often see situations where homeowners move to a new house and turn off the ERV because the air coming in was cold, or they hire an electrician to change the configuration of the continuous bathtub fan because it made a lot of noise.

And, at least in theory, most people understand why balanced ventilation with heat recovery is better than unbalanced ventilation or no heat recovery. To move forward, it must be understood that the average homeowner who buys most of the new homes being built has no idea what mechanical ventilation, airtightness, etc. Currently, ventilation flows are controlled by changing the speeds of the variable speed fans (26% of outdoor air expels air). A couple of years ago, Steven Winters Associates started an R&D project with funding from the DOE's Building America program, and one of the first steps was to interview several developers (single-family and multi-family residential developers, mainly on the East Coast) about ventilation. In conclusion, installing an ERV can be beneficial for your home's air conditioning system. It can help improve indoor air quality and control humidity levels while also providing balanced ventilation.

However, it is important to understand that ERVs are not space heating appliances or energy saving devices. If installed correctly following manufacturer's instructions, an ERV should not interfere with your air conditioning system.

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