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ERV vs. HRV for Freestanding Recording Studio

b0nk | Posted in Expert Exchange Q&A on

If you don’t mind, I’d like to lay out my thought process and then get some input.

Living in the Portland, OR area, typically it’s one of the few places where an HRV seems more appropriate.  But I’ve also seen it said that either HRV or ERV might work depending on various conditions.  Lots of very confusing discussion out there about dew points & ASHRAE statistics, leaving me with the impression that, while it is pretty wet out here, it’s not really all that bad in terms of latent loading.

If I were planning to install this in a “typical”, reasonably tight home with decent insulation — I’d probably go with an HRV.

But what I’m working on, is a small recording studio.  It’s in a detached shop/garage building.  This means no plumbing fixtures, so no sources of humidity other than my own emanations & maybe a small house plant…  I planned for up to 6 people in the room but 80% of the time it will just be me.  More accurately, it will be empty much of the time as I have another full time job for the time being.

The room is about 350 sq ft and will have a minisplit installed.  It’s room in room construction, so – double insulated and very very tight with every crack and hole sealed up.  The ventilation system will be running full time, at 50-100 CFM (I’ll dial that in when the time comes).

My inclination was to go with an HRV but I’m having second thoughts.  Given that the minisplit should be removing some humidity and an HRV can remove some as well (I think!  After all most of them have a drain tube), it seems I could end up being too dry.  And that’s not good for musical instruments.

So this puts me back to thinking an ERV would be preferable.  Thoughts?

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  1. Expert Member
    Akos | | #1

    I really don't think it will matter which one you choose. Both ERV and HRV will dry the place out without an active moisture source.

    If you are looking to keep a specific interior RH, I think you'll need some form of humidity control. A portable humidifier with a good humidistat is probably needed.

    You can also look at Daikin Quaternity for the mini split as these have active humidity control. It won't add humidity, but it can keep high humidity in check when there are many people using the studio.

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