HRV or ERV

Northern lower Michigan. Wondering what the downside of ERVs are. Are there longevity / maintenance issues with ERVs? Does the moisture transfer media require more frequent maintenance / degrade sooner / have mold / slime issues? Would appreciate experiences and thoughts. Thanks k.pearson
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What is ERV
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On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 09:31:14 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

exhausted air and incoming fresh air.. HRV - Heat Recovery Ventilator (air to air heat exchanger) only exchanges heat between exhaust air and incoming fresh air. Sorry for the acronyms. k.pearson
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k.pearson wrote:

K., the answer depends on the ERV. Some ERVs do require a drain or a chemical dessicant, but these aren't preferable. You want an ERV that is efficient enough at transferring the moisture that there is no condensate, therefore no mold/slime issues. The inside of the unit should remain dry. (I will say this doesn't happen with every ERV ... some ERVs are manufactured with paper filters that retain moisture and deteriorate over time.)
Other than that, HRVs and ERVs both require routine maintenance ... generally every 6 months or so ... to clean the filtration material.
In my opinion (I'll admit that my company does manufacture ERVs), ERVs are preferable to HRVs in every climate, because they maintain the temperature AND humidity in the home. In humid climates, they turn away humidity before it enters the home. In cold climates, they keep the home from drying out. (Because HRVs don't address moisture at all, they send it out of the house.) You will hear contrasting opinions on this from HRV manufacturers, so I suggest you ask several until you're satisfied. Also, you might want to visit these links:
The Oregon Department of Energy (where ours is the only unit qualified to earn the state's top energy efficiency tax credit) http://www.energy.state.or.us/res/tax/taxcdt.htm
Sustainable Building Sourcebook http://www.greenbuilder.com/sourcebook/EnergyRecoveryVent.html
The University of Minnesota Extension Service http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/housingandclothing/DK7284.html
UltimateAir.com (our web site) http://www.ultimateair.com Best of luck!
Susan Branch Smith 800.535.3448
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