Crawl Space Repair - Heat Recovery Ventilation vs. Dehumidifier: What is the best choice?

A customer in Port Hardy, BC asks Chris one of the most frequently asked questions by homeowners in Vancouver Island: What is the best choice for a home in BC: a Heat Recovery Ventilator or a Dehumidifier?


Chris explains that there are no one-size-fits all solutions. The answer to that question depends upon a thorough inspection of each individual home. Dehumidifiers and HRVs work in different ways.


An HRV unit serves as a whole house ventilation system. It takes conditioned air and pumps to the outside, and at the same time brings fresh air from the outside. As this exchange occurs, the heated air and the fresh air channels bypass each other so that that the air going out pre-heats the incoming air. A Heat Recovery Ventilator is a necessary, code mandated addition to a home that is air tight and highly energy efficient.

Chris compares energy efficient homes to a plastic bubble “If you threw yourself into a big plastic ball, how long do you think it’s gonna go before you start getting a little funky air in there?” This is why these homes need an HRV.


A dehumidifier’s job is to draw moisture from the air. The SaniDry dehumidifier installed by Island Basement Systems does a superb job at drawing moisture. It also filters the air; however, it is not a ventilation system, as it doesn’t pump air in and out of the house.  Dehumidifiers are a good choice for the typical home in which the ventilation occurs naturally because of bathroom fans and the stack effect. Conditioned air rises and escapes through the openings in the upper levels of the house, while unconditioned air is sucked in from the lower levels of the building.

Before you spend your money on either solution, give Island Basement Systems a call, to make sure you are buying the right unit for your home.

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Island Basement Systems
467 John St
Victoria, BC V8T5H1
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