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wilsonstark 09-23-2011 11:05 AM

HRV retrofit including kitchen
So I'm about to install a Venmar Solo 1.5 in my 2100 sq foot story-and-a-half. Existing HVAC is a retrofit central air arrangement with HE gas furnace and no A/C. The house is a 1 1/2 story with some funny floor joist issues, so 2nd floor heating isn't perfect or simple.

At this point I'm planning to do the install with fully ducted pickups (exhaust) but more conflicted about whether to return the clean outside air via the furnace supply duct or put some or all of it into additional ducted runs throughout the house. The Solo also has a "recirculate only" option which I plan to use a lot throughout the year, so doing the right thing for the incoming clean air is important too. My questions:

1. It's definitely fine to pull out the old ceiling exhaust fans in bathrooms once I've put HRV exhaust vents in them right?

2. Can I change my range hood to "filter only" and seal the wall once I've got an HRV vent in the kitchen, or should keep the range exhaust option for cooking with oils, smoke, etc? (I already know I can't tie the range hood into the HRV or even within 4 ft of the range)

3. The installation manual says that ceiling installation of HRV exhaust grills is best, but by a weird quirk of fate both bathrooms have ceilings below cold spaces so I worry a bit about condensation. Should i do a high wall install to be on the safe side?

4. One installation manual for the Constructo I almost bought said "keep grilles as from stairways as possible", but the one for the Solo doesn't. Anyone know why and if I should take this advice? I have limited spots I can run 4 or 5" pipe from basement to 2nd floor, and one of the easiest places to put the fresh air output for 2nd floor would be pretty much right at the top of the stairs...

5. What do you think? Put the fresh air right into the furnace supply duct, or do some fresh air runs? I'm conflicted but it's my house so I'm willing to do extra work if there's a legitimate "better" outcome to one approach.

Thanks for any advice or input. I always appreciate the help.

HVACDave 09-23-2011 10:04 PM

You could tie the supply air into the furnace return air duct and interlock the furnace fan with the HRV so that it would bring on the furnace fan when it runs and distribute the fresh air to the whole house. That would help to temper the fresh air to the point that you wouldn't notice any cold spots when the unit is running.

Sometimes it can be an advantage to leave the existing bathroom fans hooked up as the HRV won't help you out much in the summer months. In summer there is usually a higher humidity content in the air outside the house than inside, so it becomes counterproductive to bring fresh air in at a higher humidity level than what are in the structure in the summer. That's when you may want to keep your present exhaust fans to provide ventilation in the summer months and posssibly add an A/C in the future to give additional humidity control and comfort in the summer.

wilsonstark 09-24-2011 05:18 AM

Thanks so much Dave for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it.

wilsonstark 09-26-2011 12:09 PM

Anyone have any ideas about the "keep HRV ducts away from stairs" thing?

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