Saturday, October 16, 2010

HRV and windows

Our HRV unit is installed and running.

HRV is short for "heat recovery ventilation" and the main purpose of the system is to cycle fresh air into the house (and stale air out) on a regular schedule. The reason this is necessary is that the house was constructed so tightly that we can't rely on fresh air to simply work it's way inside as has been customary in most construction for as long as homes have been built.

Unlike a simple fan system, the HRV helps maintain the warm air in the house by a heat exchange process where the cool air coming in is passed by the warm air exiting and in the process acting upon each other to moderate the cool air so that we are not simply bringing in cold air that would cool the house and require additional heating to maintain the inside temperature. Secondarily, the HRV unit serves to move moisture out of the house that would otherwise build up from cooking, showering, and respirating. If you go into the bathroom what you'll find is not a fan switch, but a button that activates the HRV unit on "high" for twenty minutes. This does the same thing a fan does, but there is no audible sound (since the unit is located in the basement) and we are not just blowing heated air outside through a big hole in the wall.

Meanwhile, Joe and I have been moving ahead on the widow returns and trim. We've got the process pretty well streamlined and are making good progress. We've got six windows done out of 14, so eight still to go. They look great.

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