ERV

New Green Building Products — May 2014

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in 475 Building Products

It’s time once again to take a look at a few interesting new building products. I recently spotted two potentially useful ventilation products — a new type of ERV and a fan for ventilating small rooms — and two products that are destined for attics — an insulating “hat” for recessed cans and a ventilation baffle that can be installed between rafters. I will also report on JointSealR, a tape distributed by Owens Corning for taping XPS seams.

Does a Home with an HRV Also Need Bath Fans?

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in balanced ventilation

A balanced ventilation system — for example, a system with a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) — exhausts stale air from some rooms in a building, while simultaneously introducing fresh outdoor air to other rooms. The best balanced ventilation systems use dedicated ventilation ductwork. Usually, these systems pull exhaust air from damp, smelly rooms — bathrooms and laundry rooms — and introduce fresh air to the rooms where people spend most of their time — bedrooms and the living room.

An Interview with Dr. Iain Walker on Ventilation

Posted on February 01,2015 by ab3 in ASHRAE 62.2

The debate over how much to ventilate a home has been going on a long time. Last year, Building Science Corporation introduced its own standard to compete against ASHRAE 62.2 because (according to Dr. Joseph Lstiburek) of problems that weren't adequately addressed in the ASHRAE standard. I've written about the standard and interviewed Lstiburek and ASHRAE 62.2 committee chair Paul Francisco. (See links at bottom.)

Providing Fresh Air in Our Home

Posted on February 01,2015 by AlexWilson in ERV

One of the features in our new house that I’m most excited about barely raises an eyebrow with some of our visitors: the ventilation system. I believe we have the highest-efficiency heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) on the market — or at least it’s right up there near the top. I’ll describe this Zehnder HRV and its impressive specifications and features — but not until next week. This week I’ll provide a little background on ventilation.

One Minisplit or Two?

Posted on February 01,2015 by ScottG in air-source heat pump

Christopher Vernott is an architect at work on his own home — a tight, well-insulated house in southeastern Connecticut — and the time has come to rough-in the heating and cooling system. Because of the double-stud wall construction, triple-glazed windows, and careful air-sealing, his heating and cooling loads are low, he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor.

The Ventilation Omission That Can Make You Sweat

Posted on February 01,2015 by ab3 in ERV

If you're designing a ventilation system, first you have to determine how much outdoor air the house needs. You can use the ASHRAE 62.2 standard or the new BSC-01 standard for that task. Then you have to decide what type of ventilation system to use: positive pressure, negative pressure, or balanced. In many green homes, the balanced system is becoming a popular choice.

Passivhaus Buildings Don’t Heat Themselves

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in ERV

For years, the English-language website of the Passivhaus Institut in Germany provided this definition: “A passive house is a building in which a comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems. The house heats and cools itself, hence ‘passive.’”

What is the Deal with Ventilation Requirements?

Posted on February 01,2015 by CarlSeville in balanced ventilation

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.

A Chat With Henry Gifford

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in cooling

Most builders and designers involved with green building have heard of Henry Gifford. Energy efficiency experts admire his deep knowledge of heating systems and his straight talk about the unacceptably high number of HVAC problems in run-of-the-mill new buildings in the U.S. At the headquarters of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), on the other hand, he is something of a pariah — due in part to his 2010 lawsuit that accused the USGBC of making “deceptive marketing claims.”

Is There an Alternative to a Heat-Recovery Ventilator?

Posted on February 01,2015 by ScottG in energy-recovery ventilator

The tighter the house, the more it needs mechanical ventilation. That's become a rule of thumb for energy-efficient builders, and designers often turn to heat-recovery ventilators to get the job done. These relatively simple (but not necessarily cheap) devices use the temperature of outgoing air to moderate the temperature of incoming air, thus lowering the energy penalty for providing fresh air to the whole house.

Are HRVs Cost-Effective?

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in energy-recovery ventilator

From 1977 (when the Saskatchewan Conservation house was built) until 2004 (when the first U.S. Passivhaus was built), North American builders completed hundreds of superinsulated homes. In those days, anyone interested in rating the performance of these homes was probably interested in just one metric: annual energy use.

Broken Ventilation Equipment Goes Unnoticed for Years

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in energy-recovery ventilator

Years ago, when I worked as a home inspector, I was hired to perform a capital needs assessment at a Buddhist retreat center in rural Vermont. In an obscure mechanical closet I discovered a heat-recovery ventilator that the facilities manager didn’t even know existed. The HRV had been installed at least a dozen years before. The filter, which had never been changed since the day it was installed, was totally clogged. The HRV was no longer working — perhaps the motor had burned out years ago. I advised the owners to call an HVAC contractor to have the unit serviced.

One Fine Day With a Ventilation Expert

Posted on February 01,2015 by CarlSeville in ERV

I had the pleasure of attending an all-day seminar in Atlanta recently by Gord Cooke, one of the rock stars of the building science community. I have known him for a while and heard him speak a few times in the past, but was unaware of his close connection with the ventilation industry.

The Pros and Cons of Running a Dehumidifier

Posted on February 01,2015 by ScottG in dehumidification

Superinsulation is the most effective weapon we have against wintertime heat losses. R-values of 60 or more in the roof and 40 in exterior walls can slow the movement of heat to a crawl, keeping energy costs far below what they’d be in a conventionally built house. Yet Harry Seidel puts his finger on a potential problem. During the summer, any heat generated inside the house will have just as much trouble getting out of the house.

Visiting Passivhaus Job Sites in Washington State

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in airtight

On March 16, 2011, I flew to Seattle for a three-day visit to Washington state. Although the main purpose of my visit was to attend the spring conference of Passive House Northwest, I devoted a day and a half to visiting Passivhaus buildings and construction sites in Seattle and Olympia. With the help of my gracious hosts, Dan Whitmore and Albert Rooks, I was able to see four Passivhaus sites and a large workshop where Passivhaus wall panels were being assembled indoors.

New Green Building Products — March 2011

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in bath fan

It’s been about six months since my last roundup of new green building products. This time I’ll look at two ventilation products (an HRV and a fan), a pressure-balancing grille, and an inexpensive camera to inspect difficult-to-reach areas. I’ll also mention four new North American distributors of European Passivhaus-certified windows.

A ‘Magic Box’ For Your Passivhaus

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in air-source heat pump

By designing a tight envelope with thick insulation, Passivhaus designers work hard to whittle a home’s space heating load to a bare minimum. Many European designers strive to get the heating load so low that all space heat can be provided by raising the temperature of the ventilation air.

HRV or ERV?

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in energy recovery

After investigating various ventilation options, many residential designers conclude that they want either a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV). They often remain confused, however, about which of the two devices to choose. Every tight home needs a mechanical ventilation system.

Designing a Good Ventilation System

Posted on February 01,2015 by user-756436 in balanced ventilation

UPDATED June 28, 2013 Most green builders include some type of mechanical ventilation system in every home they build. That’s good. Since green buildings usually have very low levels of air leakage, mechanical ventilation is usually essential. Unfortunately, several research studies have shown that a high number of mechanical ventilation systems are poorly designed or installed.

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