ERV install complete

Today Dee’s Electric completed the install of our Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). They installed two boost timer switches, one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. This allows us to run the ventilator on high for a set period of time, while showering or cooking. There’s also a main dial switch that controls the speed of the fan, ranging from off to high.

Part of the commissioning process involves adjusting the airflow at each register to ensure the proper amount of air is being supplied and removed from each space. This also balances the system to ensure the same amount of air is introduced and removed from the house, so there is no pressurization or depressurization of the house.

They did this by first measuring the actual airflow at each register, then comparing that with the required airflow at that register. The required airflow at each register was determined by our energy consultants. The measuring is a bit like the blower door test, except the fan is the ventilator itself. The device measures airflow at the register in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

Since each register is a different distance from the ventilator with a different number of turns and elbows, it requires a little math and a few iterations of adjustments to get everything working as designed. Each vent outlet has an adjustable mechanism to control the amount of air flowing through that register.

After all was complete I ran the ventilator at different speeds and walked around the house to see what the noise levels were like. I could feel no vibration from the unit at all in the house. When the unit was running on the low setting I could barely hear the air movement. The air movement was very noticeable running on high, like in a house with a central air conditioned system. Medium speed was somewhere in between.

In practice, we will be running the unit continuously on low whenever the windows and doors are closed, and on high only for short periods of time when we’re cooking or showering.

That completes the installation of our mechanical systems. Next is finishing the electrical and plumbing. Tomorrow we’re taking a trip down to Ikea to buy our kitchen. And if the humidity in the house levels off tomorrow, we may get to start installing the wood floor this weekend.

3 Responses to “ERV install complete”


  1. 1 Mary 20-November-2011 at 8:35 am

    Hi, Thanks for posting a follow-up on your ERV. It is good to hear details like this to really get a feel for what it will be like, installed and operating.

    In your post, you commented about the “proper amount of air is being supplied and removed from each space.” I want to make sure I understand, in your system, do you have a fresh air supply in the bedroom AND a stale air exhaust (“return”)? Or are the supply and return registers in different rooms?

    I understood them to be generally (not your situation in particular) in different rooms, like a fresh air supply in bedrooms and living space and the stale air exhaust from the bathrooms and kitchen area. I got this understanding from reviewing install guides for a few ERVs, but maybe they provided over simplified diagrams in those guides and my understanding is off on this. Just wondering, because if EACH room is to have a balanced supply and exhaust, that would be a lot more duct work.

    Well, don’t know if my Q makes any sense….
    Your house is looking great you must be so excited about getting close to moving in!

    Thanks,
    Mary

    • 2 Larry 20-November-2011 at 9:02 am

      Hi Mary. You are correct, it’s not each room. Maybe I should have said each zone. For instance, you could think of the upstairs and downstairs as two zones. We supply and remove the same amount of air upstairs as we do downstairs. Our energy guys tried to balance them so we didn’t have a lot of air rushing up and down the stairs. The bedrooms on the second floor supply a bit more then the closets can return, the excess is returned in the bathroom. Same on the first floor. The supply air in the Study, Living and dining areas are balanced by the returns in the Kitchen and Pantry areas. Hope that makes more sense.

      And yes, we’re excited to be close to the finish, but it still seems like a lot of work before we’re done.

      Thanks for your question.

      Larry


  1. 1 Appliances « Up Hill House Trackback on 1-December-2011 at 1:04 pm

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