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Old 01-10-2009, 11:08 AM   #1
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Heat Recovery Ventilator information please


I am thinking of installing a HRV unit in my home to help lower indoor humidity and provide fresh air in the wintertime. Since installing insulation, a new door and all new windows the indoor humidity levels are through the roof and condensation is out of control.

Is this something a DIY'r can accomplish and have it work right?

Any advice on which manufacturers are better than others?

Any specific options I should be looking for?

Having an older metal ducted furnace can the HRV be connected to this existing duct or is seperate ducting needed?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:13 AM   #2
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Heat Recovery Ventilator information please


I would get a reputable contractor to do it. If not setup/balanced properly it can cause a negative pressure in your house/downdraft the chimey etc etc. I have a Lifebreath and find them to be the best. The Lennox HRV Healthy Climate is made by Lifebreath for them. Not a good DIY project. The cheap DIY models at HDepot etc are cheap/plastic and I don't recommend them. You get what you pay for.
http://www.lifebreath.com/en/consumer/

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Old 01-10-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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Heat Recovery Ventilator information please


Can you give me the venting procedure for a Luxaire Model PBNULD16N120D.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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Heat Recovery Ventilator information please


Ive read that it is a good idea to have a door blower test done to assess the air movement for the house before considering a HRV. Is there a specific name for this test or is it just called a door blower test? Also who performs these tests? I would like to have someone independent of any companies that sell product so I dont get a pitch after the test. What would I look up in the yellow pages to find someone that can do this and how much can I expect to pay?

Thanks
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:55 PM   #5
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That test is done to certify R2000 homes as being tight enough for their standards. Some companies do it to test the amount of air leakage B4 and after new windows are installed. The results are used for home improvement grants from governments/utility companies. Buy an HRV if you like healthy/fresh/clean air and for humidity control. If you let the humidity get out of control you WILL get a mold problem which is VERY difficult/expensive to deal with.

Last edited by yuri; 01-10-2009 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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Heat Recovery Ventilator information please


If you have that much moisture were is is coming from? Are you on a crawl?
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:32 PM   #7
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I installed a Venmar HRV myself! Their instructions were adequate and they have a website, where additional info is available! Good mechanical skills are required! You have to be comfortable cutting through th wall to install the i/o ventilation. It will require 120v/15 amp recept. for power and thermostat wire must be run up into the living quarters! The ducting can be done in several different ways! (these are discussed in the manual!) In my case, I installed ductwork from a central location and high on the wall, for the intake of the HRV. The output was ducted into the return air plenum of the forced air furnace! A family member has bronchial problems and if the HVR is turned off, for any particular reason, she becomes uncomfortable, very quickly! For this reason, I would recommend the unit that comes with a HEPA filter. It costs extra, but is well worth the money! In my case, I don't have a chimney in the house, as I have a high efficiency furnace, so balancing is not an issue. If a chimney is used air balances must be checked, as noted by a previous poster.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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Heat Recovery Ventilator information please


We have natural gas water heater and forced air furnace with combined flue. Would I need to be concerned with balancing the HRV intake and outake then? For a single story ranch house, how many supplies and returns would you recommend be connected to the HRV? I am thinking 3 supplies, 1 for each bedroom, and 3 returns, 2 for kitchen and living area and 1 for the bathroom. the house is 2200 sq ft inculding basement.

No crawl, we have an unfinished basement that is relatively dry, no wet walls, no weeping moisture, the perimeter drain is damp but not saturated. We have a sump and it works properly.

I beleive the moisture is from day to day activites and the moisture cannot escape due to likely poor air exchange. We have a Haier dehumidifier running pretty much all day long in the living room and the RH struggles to stay down in the low 30's. Without the dehumidifier running the RH would easily go into the 50's% range and Ive seen it hit 60+ at times . The other day I opened some windows and the RH dropped like a rock to 30%, the lowest Ive seen.

That tells me that I may have a poor air exchange with this house, likely from sealing it up tight with new construction windows with high quality caulking, flashing tape, a new front door and storm, and last fall added R30 worth of insulation into the attic, bringing it up to R 38. I seen on the internet that the Minnesota building code demands mehcanical ventilation for newer homes, stating "seal it up tight, ventilate it right" .

Seems like you do one thing to your home and it automatically leads to another,and another, and another

Thanks again for the replies
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:01 AM   #9
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If the unit is not balanced it can create 2 problems. Negative OR positive pressure in the house plus the chimney problem. If there is a negative pressure then air gets sucked in and can downdraft the chimney. If you have a positive pressure the moisture will freeze up your door locks and or get driven into the attic or wall insulation and ruin it. I took a course on them and have the same cold weather in Wpg. I installed my own Lifebreath unit and service them for a living. I would recommend a contractor with experience and references install it. We already have a nightmare scenario with a badly installed heatpump on the board. Things can go REALLY bad for you if not done properly. Saving $$ is one thing, repairing damage another. See "Heat pump woes by Zenica" on this board for a true story.

Last edited by yuri; 01-11-2009 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creamaster View Post
We have natural gas water heater and forced air furnace with combined flue. Would I need to be concerned with balancing the HRV intake and outake then? For a single story ranch house, how many supplies and returns would you recommend be connected to the HRV? I am thinking 3 supplies, 1 for each bedroom, and 3 returns, 2 for kitchen and living area and 1 for the bathroom. the house is 2200 sq ft inculding basement.

No crawl, we have an unfinished basement that is relatively dry, no wet walls, no weeping moisture, the perimeter drain is damp but not saturated. We have a sump and it works properly.

I beleive the moisture is from day to day activites and the moisture cannot escape due to likely poor air exchange. We have a Haier dehumidifier running pretty much all day long in the living room and the RH struggles to stay down in the low 30's. Without the dehumidifier running the RH would easily go into the 50's% range and Ive seen it hit 60+ at times . The other day I opened some windows and the RH dropped like a rock to 30%, the lowest Ive seen.

That tells me that I may have a poor air exchange with this house, likely from sealing it up tight with new construction windows with high quality caulking, flashing tape, a new front door and storm, and last fall added R30 worth of insulation into the attic, bringing it up to R 38. I seen on the internet that the Minnesota building code demands mehcanical ventilation for newer homes, stating "seal it up tight, ventilate it right" .

Seems like you do one thing to your home and it automatically leads to another,and another, and another

Thanks again for the replies
If you Google 'Venmar', you can find the Venmar technical site. Here you can download PDF manuals on suggested installation methods and unit sizes! They have good web documentation and you can educate yourself on the requirements for your home! Even if you do not intend to install this yourself, you will be able to evaluate any proposals offered by various contractors! Keep in mind, that it may be difficult to find a contractor with HRV knowledge! Although I have a Venmar, and am satisfied with its performance, I do not mean to suggest that it is superior to other products. The do have good public information available, that I found to be helpful!
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:44 PM   #11
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I love being a homeowner

After wondering why the dehumidifier was running most of the day and the 25 pint bucket wasnt even half full, I cleaned the coils and screen and measured the output on setting 'Hi'. It was 1/4 of what is should have been and the coils were barely cold , I could easily place my hand on them. The unit is 4 years old and I think it is time for a new one. This is likely the reason why our humidity is out of check even with a dehumidifier running all day long and very little water output in the bucket. Gonna start a new thread looking for portable dehumidifer suggestions. Still plan on pursuing a HRV when money permits.

Thanks all.

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