HRV and ERV Troubleshooting Tips that Keep Your Ventilation Working

HRV and ERV Troubleshooting Tips that Keep Your Ventilation Working

A few heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV) troubleshooting tips can keep fresh air moving in and stale, stagnant air moving out of your home. The goal of HRV and ERV is to intake and exhaust air in balanced amounts, without compromising heating and cooling. Heat energy is transferred from the warmer air stream to the cooler air stream. In summer, that means heat in the incoming fresh air is moved to the outgoing air stream to prevent burdening your A/C. During winter, the opposite occurs. Up to 85 percent of heat is recovered from an HRV system. ERV units also transfer humidity in addition to heat, reducing the accumulation of indoor humidity in summer and preventing excessively dry air conditions in winter.

Both ventilation systems consist of small-diameter, dedicated intake and exhaust ducts routed through a central controller that incorporates twin blower fans, filter media and the heat/humidity exchange core. HRVs and ERVs impose minimal maintenance requirements and only a few HRV and ERV troubleshooting tips are generally necessary for proper operation. The following are a few common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

  • No Power: Is a circuit breaker tripped? Reset any tripped breakers and try again. If the tripped breaker recurs, contact your qualified HVAC service provider.
  • Low Air Flow: Reusable filters should be removed and cleaned at regular intervals per manufacturer’s instructions, generally every other month. If air flow is not improved, contact a professional.
  • HRV Leaking Condensate: This is usually a drain issue. Is the condensate drain line kinked or obstructed? Make sure the drain line is routed on a slope to allow gravity flow of water.
  • ERV Unresponsive: If outdoor temperatures fall below 23 degrees, an automatic defrost cycle activates to prevent a frozen central core. While the defrost cycle is active—up to 20 minutes—operation is interrupted. After defrost is completed, normal function should return. If not, call a qualified service technician.

For more HRV and ERV troubleshooting tips and professional service to remedy the trouble, in Portland contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

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