10 Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) System Planning Tips
1. Heat recovery is a system- the HRV unit and air distribution components
- It’s the proper combination of these two elements that deliver the needed ventilation in the home.
- Properly matched distribution components are important for the best thermal efficiency, lowest electrical consumption, and quietness of the HRV system.
2. Ducting is just as important as the unit itself
- Efficiency and airflow performance
- Speed and ease of installation
- Noise transfer around the home
- Occupant comfort and health
3. Plan adequate HRV/ ERV unit and distribution tubing space allocation
- Plan a space for the HRV/ERV unit and also account for needed access inside the walls and ceilings for air distributing tubing throughout the building
- Open trusses work fine
4. Locate the system within the thermal enclosure
- Consider near an outside wall to keep the intake and exhaust runs as short as possible
5. Don’t confuse the Heat Recovery Ventilation System with the Heating and Cooling System
- The HRV or ERV will greatly reduce heating and cooling loads but a supplemental heating or cooling system is still needed.
6. HRV should be separate from the central HVAC system. Some of the limitations of tying in with central HVAC system include:
- An improper balance between fresh and extract air
- Decreases transfer efficiency
- Provides adequate ventilation to rooms when the large central HVAC fan is running which is generally only a portion of the year
7. Look for HRVs/ERVs with low energy consumption
- As an example, Zehnder’s CA 350 HRV typically uses the energy consumption of less than a 40 watt light bulb
8. Research 3rd party testing results and customer satisfaction
- Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) and Passive House Institute are valuable sources for 3rd party testing results.
- Greenbuildingadvisor.com is a useful forum to learn about customer satisfaction with different HRV/ERV products.
9. Consider the HRV/ERV as part of a systematic approach for a high-performance building
- Remember air sealing, insulation, windows and other important factors for a high-performance building.
10. Take advantage of Zehnder’s complimentary system design service
- After you’ve done the initial research and planning above, submit your project plans to our system design team for an HRV/ERV system layout.
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