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What’s the Best Way to Operate Your Ventilation System? Tips for Optimizing Your HRV

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) brings fresh air into your home all year long while minimizing energy waste. During cold weather, as the system exhausts stale indoor air outdoors, heat from that outgoing air is transferred to the fresh air that’s brought into your home. This lessens the load on your home comfort equipment while improving the circulation of fresh air into your living spaces. The system works in reverse during hot weather, transferring some heat from the incoming air and reducing your air conditioner’s workload.

HRVs have various controls that let them respond to your needs at the moment. In general, the ventilation system should be left on a low-speed setting year-round. There are exceptions to this rule, however.

Here’s a rundown of other settings and tools on your HRV:

  • High-speed settings. When the home is crowded with holiday guests, parties or other gatherings, bump your HRV up to high speed to keep pace. The high setting should be also be used if painting, staining or remodeling are taking place indoors. Also, anytime you notice stale air or lingering odors or someone’s been smoking indoors, use the high-speed setting.
  • Circulating mode. This control uses your ventilation system to simply circulate air in the home without engaging the indoor-outdoor air exchange operation. This may be useful in very cold weather: Warm air can be recirculated through your HRV, giving it a chance to defrost 
  • Timer. Your unit uses this to run at high speed for a set amount of time.
  • Maintenance light. This alerts you to the need for component maintenance or filter cleaning.
  • Dehumidistat. This function of your ventilation system engages the high-speed operation when humidity reaches a predetermined level.

If you have questions about ventilation in your home, contact the Cleveland-area experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We’re happy to give you the answers.

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