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Auto-balancing HRV worth it?

finePNW | Posted in General Questions on

Does anyone have a good resource or maybe some thoughts/experiences to share on the pros/cons of an auto-balancing HRV vs. an HRV that is simply balanced at installation and otherwise static?

Before folks ask — I’m targeting an HRV based on my location (Seattle, WA area / Zone 4 Coastal) and manufacturer recommendations to avoid mold buildup.

The HRVs in my price-range with feature sets of interest appear to be considerably more efficient for the non-auto-balancing units. Specifically, I’m looking at the Broan B160H75RS and 130H65RS, which both auto-balance, and the non-auto-balancing Fantech HERO 150H-EC and Lifebreath Metro 120-ECM ceries… definitely open to suggestions for a 108 minimum CFM unit (ability to boost/increase upwards of 150CFM is a bonus but not a deal breaker).

(PS — is a “fan” based defrost preferred to a “damper” based defrost method (or vice versa)? I think this is the difference between the Lifebreath Metro 120D and Metro 120F units.)

– Broan B160H75RS
– Broan 130H65RS
– Fantech 150H-EC
– Lifebreath Metro 120D- ECM
– Lifebreath Metro 120F- ECM

EDIT: I *think* this answers an original sub-question I had on makeup air, which is that the “balancing” in question is balancing through the core (ie exhaust to core = supply to core) and so while auto-balancing is designed to improve the indoor pressure, it is not moderated by the actual in house pressure differential:

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