With the global primary energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions elevating at 2% and 1.7% annually, it is critical to install energy recovery systems in buildings for better energy conservation. Due to limited research on the energy recovery system in the tropical climate, this study presents the development and performance investigation of an energy recovery system in the tropical climate region. The hydrophilic polymeric membrane of the heat exchanger core was developed and organised in a cross-flow manner. Performance investigation was carried out for several operating parameters, temperature, relative humidity and air velocity. It was found that there were negative relationships between air velocity and efficiency, temperature and humidity ratio differences with increasing residence time. Ranges of latent and sensible efficiencies were 42%–74% and 45%–78%, respectively. The highest sensible energy recovered was 18 kW at the temperature intake of 40°C. One-way ANOVA showed that the air velocity significantly affects sensible and latent efficiencies at different temperature intakes.