Wanted: better heat recovery ventilation for the North

The Cold Climate Innovation unit at the Yukon Research Centre is examining data collected in Whitehorse and Cambridge Bay, Nunavut with the goal of producing 'a state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation system ideally suited for the northern environment.'

The Cold Climate Innovation unit at the Yukon Research Centre is looking into ways to improve a staple of modern construction in the North.

Heat recovery ventilation systems are now mandatory in new construction in Whitehorse and much of the North.

They exchange stale indoor air for fresh air while minimizing heat loss.

But Rob Cooke at the Research Centre says sometimes the systems don't work properly.

The Cold Climate unit partnered with other agencies, including the Nunavut Housing Corporation and the Cambridge Bay Housing Association, to monitor homes in Whitehorse and Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

They installed four HRVs in Yukon Housing units and six in Cambridge Bay, along with instruments set to measure certain parameters “with the end goal of actually having a set of specifications that we can give manufacturers so that they can come out and design the perfect HRV for the North,” Cooke says.

The information collected is now being examined.