Heat Recovery Ventilation

Understanding Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) in Passive Housing

Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) is an energy-efficient system used in passive housing to improve indoor air quality. It works by using a heat exchanger to capture and transfer heat from the building’s exhaust air to incoming fresh air, greatly reducing the energy needs of traditional heating and cooling systems. This makes HRV a great solution for those looking to save money on heating and cooling bills while also creating a healthier space.

Synonyms: Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, MVHR

Example: “Our passive house uses a heat recovery ventilation system to recover heat from the exhaust air and use it to warm incoming fresh air.”

Pronunciation: HEAT re-covery VENT-i-la-shun

What is HRV?

Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) is an energy-recovery system used in passive housing that helps reduce the need for traditional heating and cooling systems. It works by capturing the warmth from outgoing air in a home through a central unit called an “exchange core”, and then transferring this warmth to incoming fresh air. This process helps reduce the amount of energy needed for heating or cooling the home, resulting in significant cost savings over time.

Why is HRV Important?

HRV is important because it provides numerous benefits when used in passive housing.

Firstly, it helps save money on heating and cooling costs as less energy is needed to warm or cool incoming air due to the transfer of heat between outgoing and incoming air streams.

Secondly, HRV can help improve indoor air quality as several pollutants are filtered out of incoming air before entering your home.

Finally, HRV can eliminate odours present in your home as outside pollutants are prevented from entering and replaced with fresher incoming filtered air.

Fun Analogy

Think of HRV like a wheel being spun between two rooms – one room sending out hot stale summertime air and another receiving cold, fresh wintertime breeze – exchanging energies with each other just as easily as one would exchange shoes at a clothing shop!

The wheel represents the heat exchanger within an HRV system that constantly rotates throughout wintertime & summertime; transferring already available thermal energy from one space into another - helping each room maintain its desired temperatures without excessive usage of external energy sources!


Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) offers numerous benefits when incorporated into passive housing designs.

Not only does it help reduce energy consumption requirements related to traditional heating or cooling systems – but it also helps improve indoor air quality by eliminating several pollutants present in stale exhaled air while bringing fresher filtered oxygen into your living space!

By understanding how an HRV system works & why it is important - you can now make more informed decisions while creating more energy-efficient & healthier homes - all while saving money on costly utility bills too!