HVI Testing and Certification

Before purchasing a home ventilation system such as an energy recovery ventilator (HRV) or heat recovery ventilator (HRV), we recommend builders, architects, contractors, and homeowners do their research on the best available options.  The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) or HVI.org  is a good resource. In order to receive HVI certification, products must undergo uniformly-applied testing.

Here is a full list of HVI- certified HRV and ERV systems.  Zehnder most recently tested its ComfoAir 200 HRV.  With Apparent Sensible Effectiveness between 92%-94% and Sensible Recovery Efficiency over 85%, the ComfoAir 200 HRV joins the Zehnder ComfoAir 350 HRV, ComfoAir 550 HRV and Novus 300 HRV as the only HVI certified units currently listed with both above 85% Apparent Sensible Effective and 90% Sensible Recovery Efficiency measurements.  Zehnder will continue to test and list additional models in the coming months.

What Is the HVI?

Headquartered in Arizona, the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) is a key organization for developing and enforcing programs designed to test and certify a number of ventilation products that are sold in North America. This series of Certified Rating Programs aim to provide manufacturers and consumers with a credible and fair method for comparing the performance of similar types of ventilation products. In order to qualify for certification, ventilation products must be tested according to Certified Rating Program (CRP) criteria. Additionally, the organization upholds a random testing program to ensure that products meet certified performance ratings on a consistent and ongoing basis. Independent third-party laboratories perform the testing for HVI certification and verification.

Types of HVI-Certified Ventilation Products

The following types of ventilation products are eligible to receive HVI certification:

  • Heat recovery ventilators
  • Energy recovery ventilators
  • Downdraft kitchen exhausters
  • Bathroom exhaust fans
  • Integrated supply and exhaust ventilators
  • Inline fans
  • Kitchen range hoods
  • Kitchen exhaust fans
  • Remote exterior mounted ventilators
  • Powered attic ventilators
  • Utility room exhaust fans
  • Static vents
  • Whole house comfort ventilators

HVI Product Certification Steps

Before being eligible for HVI certification, each product must meet certain requirements. For this reason, product developers who intend to receive HVI certification are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the requirements and fee schedules as early as possible during the development process. After deciding whether or not manufacturers would like to participate as a member or non-member, they must contact an HVI-Designated Testing Lab in order to arrange for product testing.

HVI Certification for HRVs and ERVs

In order for an HRV or ERV to receive HVI certification, the product must undergo a testing standard called the Standard Laboratory Methods of Test for Rating the Performance of Heat/Energy Recovery Ventilators. This testing standard features several terms for the ventilation performance as well as the energy performance of the HRV or ERV.

Testing criteria for ERV and HRV ventilation performance include:

  • External static pressure
  • Gross airflow
  • Exhaust air transfer (EAT)
  • Net supply airflow
  • Very low-temperature ventilation reduction (VLTVR)
  • Very low-temperature airflow imbalance (VLTAI)
  • Latent recovery/moisture transfer (LRMT)

Energy performance terms for HRV and ERV testing include:

  • Heating season performance
  • Very low-temperature test (optional)
  • Cooling season performance (optional)
  • Watts
  • Apparent sensible effectiveness (ESEF)
  • Sensible recovery efficiency (SRE)
  • Total recovery efficiency (TRE)