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Most of us suffer through our long, dark Toronto winters breathing stale, stuffy air. It makes us tired, dopey, and even miserable. It’s a sad part of the price we pay to heat our homes.

But what if you could breathe sweet, fresh, oxygen-rich air indoors all winter long, without wasting all of your expensive heat? You can – and it’s all thanks to a device that most people don’t know about.

It’s called an HRV, and it can make a huge difference to your quality of life in winter. It works alongside your furnace or air conditioner to bring air into your home.

What is a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)?

So what exactly is an HRV? And more importantly, what exactly does it do?

HRV stands for heat recovery ventilator, and it’s the unsung hero of your home heating and cooling system. It sounds complicated, but the purpose is incredibly simple. It cycles stale air out of your home and brings the fresh air in, but also transfers the heat from the stale air to the fresh so it’s not lost.

We know what you’re thinking. “I go outside – how much more fresh air do I need?”

Well, we’re going to paint you a word picture.

You’ve spent time and money making sure your home is fully sealed against any possible draughts in your home. Snowmageddon, or any future cold snaps, won’t be able to force cold air into your home. Sounds perfect, right?

The problem is that those draughts were also your source of fresh air. In a home where air doesn’t get to circulate, it turns stale.

Think of how it feels wearing the same shirt all the time. Just through the run of a day, it’s going to become dirty and feel kind of gross. Or think about airport air – do you ever feel like you’re just covered in second skin of grime and other people’s breathing?

The same thing happens with the air in your home. All those hours you spend breathing reduces the oxygen content in your air.

Opening a window may get you a quick breath of fresh air to fight back that stale airport-air feeling, but it lets in the absolutely freezing winter air. Despite the frigid season, there are still some people who leave their windows open “just a crack” all winter long!

But now they’re losing all the heat they’re spending a lot of money to have in the winter. The already warmed air is being sent outside, meaning the cold air has to be warmed up at the homeowner’s expense. And so the cycle continues.

An HRV is how you can have the best of both worlds. It not only cycles out stale air and brings in fresh air, but it uses the heat in the old air to warm up the new air, eliminating wasted heat and energy.

An HRV Can Recover 80% of Heat

When air is sent out, it heats up the exchanger pads in your HRV. The cold air coming in picks up that heat when it passes over the pads, and enters your home both fresh and warm.

An HRV can recover as much as 80% of the heat in the stale air. Not only are you getting that first-day-of-spring feeling all winter, but you’re spending less to get it!

Your HRV will work the same way in the summer; just substitute warm for cold from your air conditioner.

The energy-efficiency of an HRV means that you can actually use your furnace or air conditioner less – and that means more money in your pocket.

Other Benefits of HRV

An HRV isn’t just good for saving money and energy. There are several other benefits to enjoy.

1. They’re Good for Your Health

We’ve already mentioned that stale air is filled with pollutants from day-to-day living, but have you ever thought about how much oxygen you use up when you’re sealed inside all day?

The more oxygen you breathe in, the more carbon dioxide you’re breathing out. Eventually, your oxygen levels could get dangerously low. This has a huge impact on how you’re feeling.

With low oxygen levels you can experience:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or fainting spells
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Chest pain

None of those are pleasant, especially when you’re cooped up inside with no relief. That’s why you have to bring the relief to you with an HRV.

An HRV is like a set of lungs for your house; it ‘breathes out’ the bad air, and ‘breathes in’ the good. Your health (and your mood) will improve when you have a steady supply of fresh, oxygen-rich air.

2. They’re Quiet

HRVs are a great system for a variety of reasons, but one of the best features is that they operate quietly. You don’t have to worry about it keeping you up at night, or interrupting your deep thoughts during the day.

3. They Don’t Require Much Maintenance

An HRV is a simple, straightforward system that doesn’t require much maintenance. This is great for homeowners because not only are they saving money on heating and cooling, but they don’t have to add regular maintenance costs to the budget.

Make the Most of Your Home Heating System Today

An HRV is the energy/money/air quality-saving-system that your home has been missing. Don’t wait to start getting the most of your home heating and cooling systems.

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