The Importance of Air-tightness and Ventilation in Summer
With the first of our summer heat waves upon us, it is important to understand the value of air-tightness and Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) during such hot days. But usually, air sealing solutions are framed as a solution to cold climates, keeping the warmth inside the house. Though they are just as effective in reverse, keeping your cool and fresh air inside while it is sweltering hot outside.
First off, by simply sealing your house effectively with high quality membranes and insulation, that hot air has a much harder time getting inside. However, we still need to bring in fresh air, otherwise you would end up with a stuffy and stale home, which even if cool, would be uncomfortable. So how do we bring in fresh air when it is hot outside, while maintaining a cool and comfortable inside temperature?
Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems
The answer is ERV systems. You can see in the pictures below show how ERV systems work during colder months, keeping the comfortable warmth inside. These same systems also work great in reverse, keeping the hot air outside, and maintaining a comfortable, cool temperature inside. Just swap the blue and red arrows.
As the hot air from outside comes through the ERV system, its energy (or heat) is transferred to the heat exchanger, (normally a ceramic core) leaving cold and fresh air entering the house. As that cool air then makes its way back out the ERV system, it then cools down the ceramic core allowing it to repeat the cycle for more fresh air to enter the house. Simply put, they work the exact same way as before, just now the hot air is outside rather than inside.
This will then result in a house which is perfectly comfortable, with cool and fresh air inside. This is much greater to the alternative of opening windows to keep the house from getting stuffy, while blasting air conditioning, which is just being wasted as the cool air flows back outside.
Interested? Check out our centralised and decentralised ERV systems . For more information on how the heat recovery process works, take a look at this video from one of our suppliers, Lunos. (It’s in German but the animations make it easy to understand.)