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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

What is a Heat Recovery Ventilator and Do I Need One?


If you had to name your top priority when it comes to your heating and air conditioning, chances are, it would be keeping the cost down. In order to do that, your home must be efficient, and the way to keep it that way is to make sure everything is tightly sealed.

The conditioned air must all be kept in during the summer, and the heated air must all be kept in during the winter. Unfortunately, indoor air quality is compromised when a home is tightly sealed. Is there a way to maintain efficiency and have good air quality? There is! With a heat recovery ventilator, you can have the best of both worlds. Read on to find out more.

How Efficiency Can Compromise Indoor Air Quality

Modern homes, or older homes that have had efficiency upgrades, have tightly fitted and often double-paned windows. Their insulation is top-notch, keeping all drafts out. This is fantastic for keeping heating and cooling costs down and decreasing environmental impact.

But it means that there’s never any fresh air. Any contaminants in the air are recirculated again and again. And unfortunately, indoor air quality (IAQ) is generally much worse than the quality of the air outside. Bacteria, mold, fumes from cleaning products, pet dander, and anything else that finds its way in will not be expelled from an efficient home. It will simply accumulate—and in the case of germs and mold spores, it will also multiply. 

How Fresh Air Improves Your Health

Having a way to let those contaminants out and let fresh air in can reduce the likelihood of respiratory issues, allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, and even skin and eye irritation. It can reduce the risk of illness from bacteria and viruses. Good ventilation makes a huge difference. And people with improved indoor air quality often report having more energy and sleeping better at night. But how can you get the benefits of fresh air without letting your home’s efficiency drop?

Heat Recovery Ventilators

When a professional HVAC company connects this device directly to your HVAC system, it’ll allow fresh air in without allowing your home’s temperature to be affected. A heat recovery ventilator has two openings, one which pulls fresh air in and one which lets stale air out. And with a very simple design, it is able to adjust the temperature of the air coming in so that it won’t decrease your efficiency.

What’s the trick? It keeps the two streams of air directly against one another but in separate channels. The air coming in won’t mix with the air going out, but as they are streaming past each other, the incoming air’s temperature is affected by the outgoing air. In the summer, hot outdoor air coming in is cooled as it passes against the already-cooled air that’s on its way out. In the winter, the cold incoming air is heated in the same way.

If you want to improve your indoor air quality while keeping your home efficient, ask us about heat recovery ventilators in Albuquerque and we’ll be happy to discuss your options with you.

Contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing today to find out more about heat recovery ventilators.

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