Get the Most From Your ERV or HRV With These Troubleshooting Tips

July 15, 2015
Ross and Witmer

Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) work quietly behind the scenes to keep your home’s indoor air quality high, but from time to time, you may need ERV and HRV troubleshooting tips. Anything mechanical requires routine service to keep it running as it should, and ERVs and HRVs are no exception.

First Steps

Inspect the air filter of the ventilator. If it’s clogged with particles, it may need cleaning. Running any forced-air HVAC device with a dirty filter reduces the airflow and can harm the equipment.

Check the power to the ventilation device, starting with the circuit breaker. If it tripped, reset it. The fuse for the ERV or HRV may have blown. After removing it, look it over for any indication of physical damage or signs of a blown connection.

Your local hardware or home improvement center may stock the fuse. When replacing it, be certain that it’s an exact match. If fuses aren’t available or if the power goes out again after resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse, contact your HVAC contractor immediately.

Troubleshooting ERVs

ERVs capture the energy in the exhausting air, as well as the humidity in the incoming air. ERVs may be prone to freezing when temperatures dip below 23 degrees. If your unit stops ventilating, it could be in the defrost cycle that can last up to 20 minutes. If it doesn’t turn on afterward, your HVAC contractor may need to inspect the unit.

Troubleshooting HRVs

Because they operate differently, ERV and HRV troubleshooting techniques differ. When the HRV doesn’t drain effectively, look for a stoppage or a kink in the drainpipe and ensure it slopes slightly downward to exit your home or move into the plumbing. An HVAC pro may need to help you clean the drain or readjust the drainpipe’s angle so it drains efficiently.

For more information about ERV and HRV troubleshooting, contact Ross & Witmer, or call us at 704-392-6188.

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