Ventilation heating and cooling a PH
A Passive House requires a mechanical ventilation system and a heating/cooling system (Zone 5A).
What is the most cost effective method of achieving this? Since we will be putting in ductwork for the ERV/HRV system, it only makes sense to use this system to distribute warm and cool dry air, as opposed to having the ductwork and mini splits hanging on the wall. Also, we would have to condition (de-humidify or heat) the incoming air before it hits the heat exchanger anyway.
Zehnder ComfoFond (http://zehnderamerica.com/our_products_categories/geothermal-heat-exchan... ) , or something like this (perhaps an air to air heat pump instead of geothermal) appears to be the solution. Are there other manufacturers that have similar systems? Are they as efficient or more affordable? Will this pre-conditioning of the incoming air be enough to keep the house comfortable year round? Therefore, no other heating or cooling would be needed?
My Passive House consultant directed me to a “black box” (CERV) manufacturer in Central Illinois. http://buildequinox.com/products/cerv/ . Has anyone used one of these? How do these compare in cost? This sounds like a complete system for heating, cooling and ventilation.
Earth tubes to pre-condition incoming air sure sounds like a good idea on paper – really simple, cheap to install, and cheap to run - but that pesky mold potential has me thinking of using a different solution.
Given that the black box and the Zehnder systems are probably quite costly, it might make economic sense to use a less expensive heat exchanger and mini-splits. This seems to be the solution for many of the North American passive houses. Is that because of costs? Product availability? Familiarity with the products installed?
Posted May 5, 2014 4:53 PM ET
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