How To Bring In Fresh Outside Air During The Summer Without High Utility Bills
It wasn’t until central air conditioning in homes and commercial buildings became a standard rather than a luxury, that the population of Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding cities grew to its present numbers.
In fact, a number of cities in the Phoenix Metropolitan area are amongst the largest cities in the country thanks to central air conditioning! As of the 2014 Census, seven Arizona cities rank in the top 100 most populated cities in the USA*…and it’s all because of two letters; AC!
*Phoenix, AZ is the 6th largest city in the USA, Tucson: #33 – Mesa: #38, Chandler: #78, Gilbert: #86, Glendale: #88 and Scottsdale: #95.
This article wasn’t intended to tout the many wonders of modern air conditioning however, as much as it was to point out one of its flaws.
A major flaw with central air conditioning is recirculating the same “stale” air over and over again, and with that same air, we also recirculate the same odors, germs, pet dander, bacteria, viruses and other nasty contaminants.
The problem is, we pay good money for air conditioning so we don’t want to let in 100+ degree, or 40- degree “fresh air”. So what’s the answer?
An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). ERV’s are mechanical ventilation systems that remove stale, polluted air from homes and replace it with fresh outdoor air, while saving energy.
In the winter; ERV’s save energy by passing the outgoing warm air from inside the house through a component known as a heat exchanger. Heat from the outgoing return air mixes with cool incoming air. This “mixing” or heat recovery saves considerable energy because the your heating system doesn’t need to heat the cold incoming air.
In the summer; the cycle is reversed and the outgoing return air cools the incoming hot air. Here in Phoenix, AZ we install Energy recovery ventilators in your attic or garage where they are connected to your central air and heating system’s ductwork in order to circulate this filtered fresh-air throughout your home.
Another type of ventilator is known as a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV). HRV’s operate in a similar manner but are especially well suited for the AZ area because of our low humidity conditions.
Most ERV’s and HRV’s can recover up to 80% of the energy in the exhaust return air and deliver that energy to the incoming fresh air. They are very cost-effective in climates with extreme summer temperatures like the Phoenix area.
Phoenix area residents originally from the mid-west where whole house fans are commonplace will really like the benefits of an ERV or HRV as they can be used similar to a whole home fan in the milder temperatures when neither air conditioners nor heaters are being used.
If an ERV or HRV sounds like something for you, give us a call today for a no cost in-home consultation!