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Fantech HERO line (ERV)?

Lance Peters | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Does anyone know about the upcoming Fantech HERO line of counter-flow ERVs?  Corbett showed them in his recent video but I can’t find anything about them online.

Apparently 150, 200 and 250 cfm models will be available with fully variable ECM motors.  Anyone have access to data sheets on these?

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  1. user-7022518 | | #1

    I saw this too and looked on the Fantech website and couldn't see these models. I am also wondering about drawing air from the bathrooms into the dehumidifier--is this common practice? If the kitchen exhaust is vented separately it doesn't sound like this one system is going to provide the perfect balanced ventilation the video implies. I am very curious! Lisa

    1. Lance Peters | | #3

      Lisa, he's talking about exhausting the bathrooms with an ERV, not a dehumidifier. Exhausting bathrooms with the ventilation system (Energy Recovery Ventilator) is becoming more common in every day construction, and is common practice with high performance homes.

      The ERV is responsible for the home's fresh air supply and runs continuously (or on a regular schedule). The kitchen fan is a temporary exhaust to deal with cooking byproducts. The makeup air system he's describing is there only to provide a controlled path to replenish the air the kitchen hood removes, and only operates while the kitchen hood is operating.

  2. Trevor Lambert | | #2

    Does this guy actually think there are no other HRV/ERV makes with ECMs? He's talking about this Fantech as if it's some kind of breakthrough. Plenty of other HRV/ERVs have ECMs and >80% efficiency. This may be a nice unit, but it's nothing ground breaking or new.

    1. Lance Peters | | #4

      Fantech is sponsoring his house build, so he is marketing for them, no doubt.

      The reason I'm interested is the price, which we don't know yet. I'm not aware of many ERVs that have counter-flow cores (ie. high efficiency) and independently variable ECM intake and exhaust motors, at anything resembling a reasonable price. The Panasonic IntelliBalance 100 is about the only one I'm aware of so far.

  3. Trevor Lambert | | #5

    "Fantech is sponsoring his house build, so he is marketing for them, no doubt."
    Well, he is straight up lying then. Shameful.

    ECMs are expensive, and so is engineering. You usually get what you pay for. I'd be surprised if this Fantech unit is much different price-wise than its competitors.

    Oddly, I don't think the IntelliBalance is very reasonably priced, for what it is. Isn't it about $1000? For a unit that tops out below 100CFM, and has no boost function, seems expensive to me. If you can find a distributor that will sell a Lifebreath to you directly, I think you will find they are cheaper. Easier said that done in Ontario, however.

    1. Lance Peters | | #9

      I've looked at LifeBreath ERV specs before and was not impressed. They only seem to rate their ERVs at 50-63 CFM regardless of maximum airflow, and with very average looking sensible efficiency (SRE) even at those low airflows.

      Is there a LB ERV model in particular I should be looking at to compare with the Panasonic IB100? Here are the specs:

      0C @ 86 CFM it's at 75% SRE and 72% moisture transfer.

      The Panasonic EC1 (Cold Climate version) sells for about $1300 in Canada. It was consistently advertised at US$900 but it seems not many sites have it for sale now.

      1. Trevor Lambert | | #10

        I can't find anything in that price range that matches those specs, so if that meets your requirements I would just go for it. It's unlikely anything is going to come out that matches it and is cheaper. I personally think it's undersized for the size of your house, and the lack of a boost feature is a problem. Have you got your HVAC design for the permit yet?

        1. Lance Peters | | #13

          No, still working on that. My plan was to use two IB100's, one for the main floor and one for the bedrooms. This would allow 50-200 CFM control, and the ability to have the main floor unit switch off at night to reduce the ventilation to just what's necessary. However, I have not yet cleared that idea with the city.

          It was mainly the value of the Panasonic that I found attractive, since two of them would only cost slightly more than a single larger unit that offered lower efficiency and less flexibility. Two of them running near the low end of their rated flow would be very efficient.

  4. user-7022518 | | #6

    Thanks for your reply Lance! I think this unit is both an ERV and a de-humidifier which is why it's so appealing to me. I was looking at the Ultra-Aire which has the option of an intake but does not provide balanced ventilation. This might be the perfect alternative. Lisa

    1. Lance Peters | | #7

      Lisa, when outdoor humidity is high ventilation systems actually ADD humidity to your house. An ERV in a house with air conditioning will add less humidity to a house than an HRV will, since it passes some moisture from the incoming air to the drier outgoing air.

      In winter when outdoor humidity is low the opposite is true, the ventilation system lowers humidity in a house which can make it too dry. An ERV lowers indoor humidity less than an HRV because it passes some moisture from the outgoing air to the incoming dry air.

    2. Trevor Lambert | | #8

      From the video, I saw no indication this unit (or the forthcoming ERV version) was a de-humidifier.

  5. user-7022518 | | #11

    I think that I interpreted Corbett's statement that the upcoming ERV also dehumidified to mean that it did both. Perhaps this is wishful thinking. Lisa

    1. Trevor Lambert | | #12

      I missed him saying that. Most likely he doesn't understand what the product does and doesn't do. An HRV will dehumidify, but only when you probably don't want it to (in the winter).

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