balanced ventilation

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Six Steps to Success With Heat-Recovery Ventilation

Whole-house ventilation is one of the cornerstones of a high-performance house

Posted on Jan 29 2018 by Bruce Sullivan

Heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs) remove stale air from the home and replace it (in winter) with preheated fresh air from outside. The result is better indoor air quality and lower energy use than in standard homes. The HRV itself is fairly simple: an airtight box with a heat exchange core that transfers heat from the indoor air to outside air (or vice-versa) as the air passes through the box. The box also contains two small fans to move the air. All the points below apply equally to HRVs and their close cousins, energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs).


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Image Credits:

  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Ventilating a Home in Cold Weather

You need fresh air, but bringing in cold outdoor air can cause problems

Posted on Jan 10 2018 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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When I woke up Saturday morning, the temperature outdoors was -40 degrees. The wind chill was -100 degrees! It was just unbelievably, impossibly, inhumanly cold outside. Fortunately, that was on a mountaintop in New Hampshire and not where I was. I happened to have woken up on a mountaintop in North Carolina, where the temperature was a much warmer -3°F.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Revisiting Ventilation

An updated overview of residential ventilation systems

Posted on Nov 17 2017 by Martin Holladay
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My comprehensive article on residential ventilation systems, “Designing a Good Ventilation System,” was published back in 2009. A few things have changed in the last eight years, so it’s time to revisit the topic.


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Image Credits:

  1. Lunos and Soler & Palau

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Should Balanced Ventilation Be Required?

Aspen’s new energy code requires balanced mechanical ventilation with recovery

Posted on Feb 8 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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"You know where this is going, right? Codes will eventually require balanced ventilationMechanical ventilation system in which separate, balanced fans exhaust stale indoor air and bring in fresh outdoor air in equal amounts; often includes heat recovery or heat and moisture recovery (see heat-recovery ventilator and energy-recovery ventilator). ." I've heard people say this more than once in the past year or so. As someone who has been attending the semiannual meeting of the ASHRAE 62.2A standard for residential mechanical ventilation systems established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Among other requirements, the standard requires a home to have a mechanical ventilation system capable of ventilating at a rate of 1 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable space plus 7.5 cfm per occupant. committee, I've been skeptical. Then I read the new Aspen energy code and saw the first evidence that this really could happen.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Ventilation for Your Tight House — Part 2

Our guest, Sonia Barrantes, continues the conversation about the best options for a healthy, comfortable ventilation system

Posted on Sep 17 2015 by Christopher Briley

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Download .mp3

Our conversation with Sonia Barrantes continues. (If you missed it, here is a link to Ventilation for Your Tight House — Part 1.)

We've come to realize that we all want simple rules of thumb to guide our design process. Unfortunately, there isn't a rule of thumb for everything and we're going to have to rely on some common sense, good advice, and good old-fashioned engineering to get this balanced ventilationMechanical ventilation system in which separate, balanced fans exhaust stale indoor air and bring in fresh outdoor air in equal amounts; often includes heat recovery or heat and moisture recovery (see heat-recovery ventilator and energy-recovery ventilator). system right.

Our cocktails are refreshed and we're ready to go.


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Image Credits:

  1. Photos #1 and #3: Air Pohoda
  2. Photo #2: Alex Willson
  3. Photo #4: 475 High Performance Building Products

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How Balanced Ventilation Systems Become Exhaust-Only

Joe Nagan sends out another one of his humorous e-mails

Posted on Jun 20 2014 by Martin Holladay

Unlike the homes of our great-grandparents, the homes of most Americans are served by an array of automatic appliances and systems.

When our great-grandparents returned home after a three-day absence, they would need to haul a bucket of water from the spring and light a fire in the kitchen stove before they could brew tea. Today’s homes, of course, have electricity for lighting, a furnace for warmth, an air conditioner for cooling, a water heater for showers, and internet access for Googling.


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Joe Nagan
  2. Image #3: Virginia Lee Burton

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Does a Home with an HRV Also Need Bath Fans?

Most homeowners find that an HRV with dedicated ductwork moves enough air to clear condensation from bathroom mirrors

Posted on Apr 25 2014 by Martin Holladay

UPDATED on June 29, 2017, with information on Aldes constant airflow regulators.


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Image Credits:

  1. Riverdale Net Zero

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Our Top-Efficiency Heat-Recovery Ventilator

We expect our state-of-the-art HRV from Zehnder to provide fresh air to our home, with very low energy consumption, for years to come

Posted on Feb 13 2014 by Alex Wilson

In last week's blog I reviewed some of the general strategies used for ventilating buildings — or not. This week, I’ll zero in on the types of balanced ventilationMechanical ventilation system in which separate, balanced fans exhaust stale indoor air and bring in fresh outdoor air in equal amounts; often includes heat recovery or heat and moisture recovery (see heat-recovery ventilator and energy-recovery ventilator). in which heat is recovered from the outgoing airstream to preheat the incoming fresh air.


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Resistance May NOT Be Futile in the Residential Ventilation Wars

The Building Science Corporation has created a ventilation standard to compete against ASHRAE 62.2

Posted on Jul 10 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

“ASHRAE 62 is the only national consensus standard document there is. Follow 62.2. Resistance is futile.” So said Dr. Max Sherman last summer in a presentation for the Building America Technical Update meeting. (Download pdf official report here.) That statement about resistance being futile isn’t generally a line you want pinned to you if you’re trying to win hearts and minds, but I asked Sherman about it.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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What is the Deal with Ventilation Requirements?

An increasing number of green building programs mandate compliance with the ASHRAE 62.2 residential ventilation standard

Posted on Apr 9 2013 by Carl Seville

Before I even get started, I want to point out that I am no expert on ventilation. I have learned a lot from (and rely on) many experts, including Paul Raymer, Gord Cooke, John Krigger, Joe Lstiburek, Armin Rudd, and Terry Brennan, among others. I depend on them to fuss about the details of how much ventilation a house needs.


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Image Credits:

  1. Broan

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