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Building professional in the Colorado area

Arvin Gilman | Posted in Building Code Questions on

Is there a list of residential building engineers in the Denver, CO area that could analyze my home for a balanced ventilation system?

What is the title for such an engineer who could work with our local HVAC contractor?

Thanks in advance for all advice.

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Replies

  1. J Chesnut | | #1

    It depends on what type of heating and cooling systems you have.
    If you don't have mechanical cooling and use hydronic radiant heat a sales representative for the HRV product can help you size the system and design its distribution. Install could be DYI plus and electrician if you are savy enough to run the ducting through your house.

    If you are tying into a force air system than it gets more complicated. I've seen HRVs added onto force air systems that I'm not convinced the installer really new how it would actually function. Again, I think its worth calling an HRV manufacturers representative. For new construction at least they are typically sufficient for the design of the system without employing an mechanical engineer.

  2. User avatar
    Armando Cobo | | #2

    Mechanical Engineer. However, not many MEs have experience or work in residential HVAC design, so make sure they do.
    You may want to contact Justin Wilson @ http://www.buildwithbps.com. He maybe able to give you some names there in Denver.

  3. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    You might want to contact Paul Kriescher, an energy consultant who works at Lightly Treading Energy & Design. Paul should be able to recommend a residential ventilation contractor.

  4. Kevin Dickson, MSME | | #4

    Other good sources of information are Dennis at About Saving Heat and Robby at Energy Logic.
    Please explain your system a little more, and we may have more suggestions.
    Is the home built yet?, if so, what year?
    What kind of HVAC system does it currently have?
    What size is the home?
    Have you had a blower door test?
    Xcel Energy in Colorado currently offers subsidized home energy audits. These are usually done by Lightly Treading and cost only $120. Without Xcel's subsidy, these would usually run $600 to $1000. They include the blower door test and infrared photography.

  5. Arvin Gilman | | #5

    Thanks Guy's for all the good advice. I started with Energy Logic several years ago when they were still doing resendential for retail clients-now then only work with developers. Presently using GB3 who are good but ventillation systems are outside their range of expertise. Bringing in my own HVAC Guy next week for a consult but feel someone with an enginerring degreee in this is preferable. Home is 11 years old, semi custom Bill Wah'l ranch (3800') which is now super tight at .22 NAC.Furnace system is still old but usable with CleanEffects, seperate DeHumidifier and Humidifier. One extra duct from outside with aflapper valve controlled by HVAC. Home pretty comfortable except in 2 rooms. GB3 Energy (auditor was trained by Energy Logic) feels Whisper Green ventillation fan will help in one room but need to increase overall overall ventillation without incurring a huge energy cost. This is long range plans and may not be implemented until a few years from now.

  6. Kevin Dickson, MSME | | #6

    Arvin,

    Whisper Green fans are a good choice for rooms that need it, and they keep it simple. Here's a video on how they are controlled, either by motion sensor, or manual switch: http://www.iaqsource.com/article.php/understanding-panasonic-whispergreen-fan-controls/?id=152

    But they don't provide "balanced" ventilation. The most economical balanced solution is the WhisperComfort spot ERV from Panasonic: http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=175432&catGroupId=119516&surfModel=FV-04VE1&displayTab=O

    They will recapture 66% of the heat in the outgoing air, and one should even provide enough total fresh air for the house.

    The degreed mechanical HVAC engineer will probably stick closely to the ASHRAE recommendations: http://epb.lbl.gov/publications/lbnl-54331.pdf

    They tell you how much air to provide, but not how to measure the air quality in order to minimize fan runtime.

    CO2 measurement is often recommended to control ventilation air, but I haven't seen a practical residential control.

    A furnace-mounted HRV's installed cost will be hundreds if not thousands more than the WhisperComfort, and you are forced to ventilate the whole house, which might not be necessary.

    The outside air duct on the existing furnace is a poor way to do it, mainly because you don't get any ventilation if there's no call for heat. (Unless you install some complicated, unusual controls)

  7. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #7

    Arvin,
    For more information on residential ventilation, see Designing a Good Ventilation System.

    By the way, if your home has 0.22 natural air changes per hour (NAC), you are mistaken to think that it is "supertight." That value is roughly equivalent to 4.4 ach50 -- not particularly tight.

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