HRVs and Climate Change

I’m trying to get shorter and snappier with my posts and videos, so here is a short and sweet cut of my recent post about our Heat Recovery Ventilator (find the more in-depth one here).

When people talk about retrofitting an older house–as in insulating and sealing it–you often hear people say that “old houses need to breathe”. What they mean is that they have no ventilation system so they rely on porous walls, windows and doors to keep the air fresh inside.

The new basement and mainfloor as drawn in 2011 and submitted for our Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA)

It’s accepted that some rooms will have fresher air than others and if you get cold, you just add more heat.

Your furnace blows warm air into the rooms which leaks out. That’s terrible for the environment and your pocketbook, but at least the air is never allowed to get too stale (in most rooms).

So what they’re really saying is, “these old houses need to leak”.

Sound ridiculous? It is!

Your house does need to breathe, so if it doesn’t leak you’ll need to help it with that. That’s what an HRV does (AKA ERV or Energy Recovery Ventilator).

With an HRV your home can breathe without leaking.

And with Climate Change causing more extreme weather patterns leading to summers of wild fire smoke, your HRV can help you fight climate change by reducing your carbon footprint AND mitigate the bad air quality which is indirectly caused by climate change.

Here’s a two-minute-ish intro to the insides of our HRV.


Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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