As with any big purchase, you know that maintenance is essential if you want that item to last for an extended period of time. Just like your car, you want to ensure all aspects of your new home are maintained and cared for properly and in a timely manner. By doing so you are securing a quality home that will last you a lifetime.
With all of the humid weather we have had over the last few days, one thing that you will want to ensure is maintained regularly and properly utilized is your heat recovery ventilator (HRV). It is important to read the manufacturers’ service manuals, operating instructions, maintenance guidelines, warranties, and energy-saving recommendations.
An HRV system is installed in all of our homes. It is used to remove moist stale air from your home & replace it with fresh dry air from outside. By doing so, 1) the humidity level in your home stays at an appropriate level and 2) by replacing the stale air with fresh air, your home will be a healthier and cleaner environment.
The system continuously operates at a rate that changes the air in your home every three hours. If the humidity level (that is set on your humidistat) in your home climbs higher than the normal amount, the system will kick into high speed to change the air every two hours. It will continue at high speed until your humidity level is normal again.
Condensation or the appearance of moisture occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a colder surface. This tends to happen in new homes during the first year as water is being drawn out from the new concrete foundation or the freshly painted walls. As this water evaporates the drying out process happens and condensation will form on windows or plumbing pipes.
Here are some tips to ensure your HRV system is running smoothly and working at its highest potential:
· Keep the unit turned on and set at the proper humidity level as per the chart above
· If windows steam up considerably, open them slightly for short periods (1-2 hrs)
· Keep ridge vents on the peak of your home clear of snow. This will allow the attic to breathe
· Dryer vents must be exhausted to the outside of the home
· Don’t store firewood in your basement. Moisture will draw from the wood, increasing humidity
· Plants release as much moisture as the amount used to water them. If you have a lot of humidity problems, you may have too many plants in your home.
· CRAWL SPACE: Proper ventilation in crawl spaces prevents high humidity, condensation, and thusly mildew. Don’t block them if they open to the basement unless you have exterior venting. Don’t block off existing vents. Don’t store items in your crawl space that may damage from humidity or mildew.
· Open basement windows during warm, dry weather & close them when it is very humid outside. If condensation continues, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier.
By reading up on and understanding the products in your home, it should extend the lifetime of your home considerably, and ensures it is running like a well-oiled machine. By continuing to keep the vital pieces of your home in check, it should have a long and healthy life.