How to Clean & Replace Your HRV Filter

Ahh, who doesn’t love breathing fresh air in their home? A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) system can make a world of difference in creating a balanced and energy-efficient space. As with any appliance, it’s important to maintain and clean your HRV system to ensure it’s running at its best. 

What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) System?

Because we spend most of our time inside, the importance of having a well-ventilated home can’t be understated. Since the 1970s, houses have become much more airtight, with strong insulation, vapour barriers, and caulking becoming standard.

Although this means homes have become more thermally efficient, it also means that stale air can linger inside! Moisture and chemicals can build up, breeding mould, bacteria, mildew, dust, and pollutants—all of which can negatively impact your health.

Thankfully, a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) system cycles out the stale and moist air in your home, and then replaces it with filtered and fresh air from the outdoors. This creates balanced ventilation throughout every room.

At the same time, an HRV system uses the stale air inside to warm up the outdoor air coming inside. In the winter months especially, we can close windows and doors with peace of mind, knowing fresh air is being cycled in without sacrificing any heat.

How to Clean Your HRV Filter 

If you already have an HRV system, keeping it clean and well-maintained is a crucial aspect of owning one. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Be sure to turn off your HRV system and unplug it.
  2. Open the door by unclipping the fasteners.
  3. Remove the HRV filters by sliding them out from the middle of the unit.
  4. If the HRV filters are really dirty, vacuum out excess dust and grime.
  5. Wash the HRV filters in soap and warm water.
  6. Let them dry and reinsert them when they’re ready.
  7. Now, you can safely plug in and turn on the HRV system.

How to Clean the Filter Core of Your HRV

Sometimes, dirt and debris can build up in the HRV’s filter core. If this is the case, you can also remove it and clean it.

  1. Usually, HRV filter cores have sidetracks that you can slide out. Pull those out first.
  2. Now, you should gently and easily be able to pull the mechanism out.
  3. After that, you can wash the HRV filter core in soap and warm water.
  4. Once it’s dry, place it back in the machine, along with the sidetracks. 

How Often Should You Clean & Service Your HRV?

It’s recommended that you clean your HRV filters once every two months. This will allow you to remove any dust and grime that collects over time.

When Should You Replace Your HRV Filter?

You should change your HRV filters out once or twice a year. If they’re still mucky and dark after a good washing, that’s a sign that you should put new ones in.

How Long Does an HRV System Last?

Typically, HRV systems work for 10 to 15 years. After that, the technology has reached the end of its lifespan and it’s time to look for a newer model.

Give the HVAC Experts a Call

At Always Plumbing & Heating, we’re obsessed with making your home as comfortable as possible. If you need to maintain or install an HRV system, book an appointment with us today. Our HVAC experts will assess your home, talk about your needs, and perform the right solution for you.

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