Heat Recovery Ventilators are useful, especially in an extreme winter climate. HRVs pull fresh, cold outdoor air into the HVAC system and pre-heat it with a current of warm indoor air. It helps recover heat that would normally be lost to the outside when fresh air is allowed indoors.

An HRV takes pressure off your heating system and saves on energy consumption. Installing one also improves indoor air quality. However, an HRV requires proper maintenance to do its job. Here are some ways to care for your system to ensure it well in wintertime.

Winter Maintenance for Heat Recovery Ventilators

1. Read the manual. HRVs from different manufacturers may have different instructions. Read the manual thoroughly and learn the maintenance requirements for your HRV.

2. Inspect the screens. Remove debris, clean the intake and exhaust hoods — and associated screens. Particles on the screen can reduce ventilation rates by restricting intake and/or exhaust.

3. Adjust motor packages. When checking the functionality of your HRV:

Winter Maintenance for Heat Recovery Ventilators


Align pulleys and secure the shafts

Check for belt wear (replace on a regular basis)

Clean dust and dirt from blower wheels and motor vent openings

Adjust belt tension and secure motor mounts


4. Replace filters. Normally, filters for a HRV should be replaced quarterly (or every 2,000 hours of operation). The timing of replacement may depend on the amount of particulate in the airstream and the type of filter. Schedule filter replacement to keep your unit functioning, and only use the correct size for proper HRV operation.

5. Clean exchanger cores. Follow the product manual’s recommendation for cleaning the exchanger cores. This is typically done once a year, and vacuuming with a soft brush attachment is usually all that is needed.


heat recovery ventilators dr duct

6. General cleaning. Vacuum or use a slightly damp cloth to remove dirt from inside surfaces of the HRV unit.

7. Confirm operation. Close the latch doors and access panels. Restore power to the unit and run through an on-off cycle to ensure it is functioning properly.

Winter Maintenance for Heat Recovery Ventilators

HRV maintenance can be done on your own, but hiring a professional can make the job quick and painless.

Contact Dr. Duct at (613) 845-0707 for maintenance and cleaning of your Heat Recovery Ventilator in Ottawa and surrounding areas.