Fresh air

Improve the air quality at home. 5 Different ventilation methods

In an earlier post, we have talked about what is air quality and how to test. Now we are going to talk about how to improve the air quality at home.

Benefits of good air quality

First of all, let’s talk about the benefits of good air quality. This means the number of pollutants flying in the air of your home is very small. The first good change you will feel is a pleasant smell. A second effect is the lack of allergic reactions. A nonpolluted air will also help you sleep better, letting the body and mind recover after a long day. Probabilities for long-term illnesses are greatly reduced with good air quality in your home.

Opening the windows to improve the air quality at home

Improve air quality at home by opening windows

The first thing you can do to improve the air is to open more often the windows. Yes, it sounds obvious and it is very efficient to keep the air fresh and reduce humidity. Even in the winter when it seems counter-intuitive, if you don’t have another method to bring fresh air in the house it is mandatory to open the window.

A good practice is not to open all windows at the same time, do it room by room with the door closed. Also, stop the heating in that room, not to waste energy. Depending on the room size but for average dimensions 20 to 30 minutes should be sufficient. If you have a concern about the air outside, then check the air quality index in your location. With the simple grading used for the index (good, moderate, all the way to hazardous) it will be very easy to determine the quality of the air outside.

If opening the windows is not a solution, then a good alternative for the winter period is an Energy recovery ventilator.

Improve the air quality at home by using ERV

An ERV is a unit that takes the stale air inside the room and passes it through a ceramic resistance to heat/chill it. After that, the unit takes outside fresh air and passes it to the same ceramic resistance to bring that air closer to the temperature of the air inside and brings it in the room.

An ERV is usually energy-efficient, making them the best solution to have clean air and save energy in the cold and hot seasons. In the next part, we will take into consideration the average dimensions of the houses.

For your specific home, you have to calculate the needed CFM based on the number of occupants and square feet.

EVR (CFM) = (7.5 *number of individuals)+(0.06*square feed)

Best central unit ERV

If you are building or you can adapt your venting system then Broan’s ERV 140 TE

Improve the air quality at home with the Best ERV from Broan

With an airflow of up to 140 CFM, the unit is recommended for average houses.

The high efficient motors with 4 operating modes accommodate ventilation requirements from 80 to 140.

The core absorbs both heat and moisture making it a perfect solution for dry homes in the heating season and air-conditioned homes in the cooling seasons.

Compact footprint and 6″ ports located on the top allows easy fit and simplify installation.

EVR for big homes

For a bigger home, the principal is the same, calculate the CFM. We will take for example a 3000 squared foot house with 5 occupants. The ERV recommended would be BPE’s XE MIR 200.

Improve air quality at home with the runner up BPE XE MIR 200
Improve the air quality at home

The unit’s airflow capacity is 220 CFM with a 70% to 95% thermal efficiency.

Can bring in -20 F air at over 60 F.

It comes with integrated fans, Merv 8 Filter for fresh air, Merv 6 filter for exhaust air, and 2-speed controllers for each fan. It is one of the most efficient recovery ventilation with an EER of 60.

The unit’s airflow capacity is 220 CFM with a 70% to 95% thermal efficiency.

Can bring in -20 F air at over 60 F.

It comes with integrated fans, Merv 8 Filter for fresh air, Merv 6 filter for exhaust air, and 2-speed controllers for each fan. It is one of the most efficient recovery ventilation with an EER of 60.

XE MIR 200 is recommended for an average-sized home

Wall-mounted ERV

For homes without a central ventilation system, wall-mounted ERV is a solution. The disadvantage of the product is the limitation of 1 room. If you want to freshen the complete house then you need 1 in every room.

A recommended wall-mounted ERV is Vtronic’s VT-501 module.

Button to the best Wall mounted ERV Vtronic's VT-501

The unit requires very little energy, up to 6W, making it very economical.

Has a 28 to 35 CMF and with the silent fan, up to 30 dB, this unit is deal to bedrooms.

With the ceramic heat exchange core, the efficiency is up to 90% and can reduce pollen, dust, CO2, and other pollutants.

Improve the air quality at home with HRV

Until now we have talked about energy recuperating ventilators. But these units are recommended for regions with hot summers and cold winters.

If the region in which you live now has moderated summers and very cold winters the heat recovery unit is recommended for you. The operating principle is the same as an ERV. Takes stale air from the room and brings in outside fresh air without mixing the two.

Best HRV for average and big homes

Lifebreath 267MAX Residential Heat Recovery Ventilator with Defrost Control is our best choice.

Button to the best HRV from Lifebreath

The counter-flow heat recovery core transfer the heat between the air streams. Can be easy removed for cleaning or service.

The unit has washable filters in the intake and exhaust.

Each airstream has independent fans with multiple speed operations. Recirculating damper defrosts system. The case is the corrosion resistance and is insulated to prevent exterior conditions.

The unit has a DXPL02 controller that can be wall-mounted in a central location.


What is the HRV’s or ERV’s noise level?

Usually, the equipment is very quiet, independent of the model. Even the wall-mounted model has a sleep function to reduce noise and help you have an excellent sleep.

What is the difference between an HRV and an ERV?

HRV are hear recovery ventilators and ERV are energy recovery ventilators. The difference is the core. One transfers only heat from the air inside. The other transfers both heat and cool. That is why I recommend HRV only for cold climates.

How often do you have to do maintenance on an ERV?

A recommended period would be 6 months. In any case, the manufacturer provides this information in the user manual. The maintenance period differs from supplier to supplier.


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