What is a Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit?


Winters in Windsor, ON, are long and cold. If you’re tired of paying exorbitant heating costs every winter season, a heat recovery ventilation unit could be the solution you need. At Guaranteed Comfort Heating & Cooling, we install energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators that enhance your home’s comfort, lower wintertime heating costs, and decrease your home’s carbon footprint.

What Does a Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit Consist of?

A heat recovery ventilation unit collects heat from one source of air and transfers it to another source of air. The source of heat is the exhaust gas. A heat recovery ventilation unit can be paired with a gas-powered heating system, such as a boiler or a gas furnace. They come in a range of capacities for single-family homes, duplexes, and even commercial structures. The purpose of the unit is to reduce heat loss from the exhaust gases. Heat recovery ventilation systems have a core unit, a set of pipes or tubes for exhaust air, another set for fresh air, and one or more blower fans. These systems recover 60% to 95% of the heat that would otherwise be lost in exhaust gases.

Types of Heat Recovery Ventilation Units

There are several types of heat recovery ventilation units. One is the rotary thermal wheel, which is a mechanical ventilation system that moves heat energy from one stream of air to another via a fluid. Another type is the fixed-plate heat exchanger. This is the most common type of heat recovery ventilation system, and they’ve been in use for more than 40 years. These systems recover about 90% of the heat in flue gases. Heat pipes can also be used in a heat recovery ventilation unit. They use a gas and fluid phase to absorb and transfer heat energy between two streams of air. A run-around heat recovery ventilation system uses a large closed-loop to recover heat and pass it between two heat exchangers. A fluid fills the loop and moves from one exchanger to the other. Phase change materials are another option for a heat recovery ventilation unit. These can only be installed in a newly built structure because they’re placed under the foundation at the time of construction.

Features of Heat Recovery Ventilation Units

Heat recovery ventilation units bring fresh air into your home. This improves your home’s indoor air quality. The fresh air is filtered before it enters your home, so it’s clean and free of pollutants. Some types of heat recovery ventilation units also provide humidity control. Maintaining an ideal indoor humidity level of 30% to 50% helps you feel more comfortable. When the indoor humidity level is within this range, you’re also less likely to experience health issues, such as dry eyes, throat irritation, and dry or inflamed mucous membranes and nasal passages. You might not need to operate a portable or whole-home humidifier if you install a heat recovery ventilation unit.

Advantages of Installing a Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit

Installing a heat recovery ventilation unit decreases the carbon footprint of your home. This can be important to buyers if you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future. These units recover some of the heat that would otherwise be lost to flue gases. As a result, your home could use 5% to 30% less energy for heating. About 40% of your annual utility costs are for heating and cooling, and the energy savings provided by a heat recovery ventilation unit are significant. You could save hundreds of dollars every year. The systems work in all weather conditions, including during periods of extremely cold air temperatures. Your heating system will be more effective at maintaining your home’s temperature after installing the heat recovery ventilation unit.

When to Install a Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit

A heat recovery ventilation unit can be installed in your Windsor home by our skilled technicians at any time. They’re compatible with most makes and models of furnaces and boilers. However, the best time to install one of these systems is when you’re getting a new furnace or boiler. That’s because the installation process requires making some modifications to the flue and piping of your home.

At Guaranteed Comfort Heating & Cooling, we’re the trusted providers of heating and cooling maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation. Homeowners also count on us for quality air purifiers, boilers, tankless water heaters, heat pumps, UV lights and air cleaners, HEPA and MERV 11 to 16 air filters, and ductless split systems. Contact Guaranteed Comfort Heating & Cooling today for more information about heat recovery ventilation units.

Chris Egan


Chris Egan, owner of Guaranteed Comfort Heating & Cooling, brings over 35 years of HVAC experience. Dedicated to customer satisfaction, he delivers top-notch heating and cooling solutions.