The BrHEAThe system is an integrated heating and ventilation system developed by CCHRC that reduces energy costs while maintaining healthy indoor air quality. CCHRC installed the system in prototype homes in Anaktuvuk Pass (2012), the Sustainable Village at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (2012) and Buckland (2013).
The BrHEAThe system marries together heating and ventilation so that incoming air is always hot and fresh. Fresh air is brought in through the HRV and recovers heat from outgoing stale air. Then it enters a filter box and passes through a heat exchanger, robbing heat from a loop that’s connected to a boiler. The air is warmed from approximately 40 degrees up to 140 degrees. This heated air is then distributed through ductwork throughout the home. The high efficiency boiler also heats a domestic hot water tank.
As homes are becoming tighter and more energy efficient, mechanical ventilation is needed to maintain healthy indoor air quality. HRVs ensure a constant supply of fresh air, and are far more energy efficient than exhaust-only ventilation systems. However some residents complain that HRVs bring in cold air and use too much electricity (an in-line electric heater is often used to boost the temperature of ventilation air). The BrHEAThe system addresses both of those issues: using an efficient heating system and maintaining a constant supply of fresh warm air to the home.
The system can also complement homes already using wood stoves for space heating. Researchers are tracking the fuel and power consumption of the system and monitoring indoor CO2 and humidity levels.
This video shows how the system works: