A recent article in The Ottawa Citizen advised against installing an HRV in a small home – we disagree.
The author maintains that “The cost of losing precious living space to the HRV itself and to the air ducts is just too high given the benefits that an HRV offers in a small space like yours.” We disagree on a couple of counts:
In the first instance, every house built in Ontario since January 2017, regardless of size, has required an HRV. It’s not an option, it’s a legal requirement!
In the second, the article’s author also maintains that “Opening a window or two a little and running exhaust fans more often and longer will also push stale air outdoors and bring fresh air in.”
We don’t understand why someone in even the smallest house would want to regularly naturally ventilate their home in the winter because it will cost more to continually heat the cold air that keeps being introduced. A big part of building tiny is to save money not to spend more.
There is, in fact, an HRV for every application.
The Lunos system is a 90% efficient heat recovery system designed for small spaces. Many passive homes use this system: http://www.lunoscanada.com/index.html
The Lunos HRV uses the wall cavity so no extra space is required in a utility room.
If you live in Ontario and are building a new home, you are required to have an HRV system. Make sure you get the right one for the size of your home.