Heating & Cooling

Heat Recovery Ventilators

Homes built after 1977 are typically more airtight, which helps to prevent heat loss but also prevents air circulation, which is important for your health and comfort. Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs), also know as fresh air exchangers, remove excess moisture and indoor pollutants (mould, household chemicals and bacteria) and let fresh air inside while minimizing heat loss.

During the fall and winter, an HRV captures heat from air leaving your house and uses it to heat the fresh air coming into your house. Similarly, an HRV can reverse this process during the spring and summer, removing some heat from the incoming air and transferring it to the outgoing air.

What to Look For

  • An ENERGY STAR® certified HRV uses less energy, on average than a standard model.
  • For homes with existing ductwork, consider a whole-house system.
  • In homes without ductwork, a room-sized HRV can be installed in a window or wall opening. These are best for rooms with ventilation problems such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.

Things to Consider

  • Hire a professional, licensed HVAC to install your HRV.
  • Get a Home Evaluation to help you understand how your home uses energy and identify all improvement opportunities.
  • Check with your municipality, utility or retailer to see if rebates are available.


$350 to $500 for mounted, room-sized models; $500 to $1,500 for whole-house systems.

Source: Natural Resources Canada