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Need help choosing an efficient HRV air exchanger

Jim_Lafleur | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Need help choosing an efficient HRV Air Exchanger


My house as a total area of 2300 square feet (1150*x). We only have 1 stale air duct and 1 fresh air duct. I live in New Brunswick, Canada. Very close to Maine. So we could say that I’m in Climate Zone 7A.

I was planning to buy the Fantech VHR150R ( with a SRE of 60% (-25°C 89cfm). I liked it because of it’s 7 year warranty on motor and 5 years on other parts. Lifetime warranty on aluminum core. My plan was to buy a durable unit. Also it has integrated airflow measurement ports for balancing.

Then I saw the Lifebreath 155 MAX ( with a SRE of 72% (-25°C 64cfm).

I’d like to choose the unit that will save me more money. According to the SRE the Lifebreath 155 MAX seems more efficient, but I’ve noticed that it’s at a lower cfm (64cfm VS 89cfm). Does it matter?

Which unit should I choose? Are both units strong enough for the size of my house? Or do you guys have any other models to suggest?


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  1. Jim_Lafleur | | #1

    By the way, during January and February the temperature is often below -30°C (-22°F). Like next week they forecast -36°C (-33°F).

  2. charlie_sullivan | | #2

    I suggest also considering the fan's electric power requirements. The electricity consumption can add up if you run it 24/7/365.

    Sorry I don't have time to provide more input right now.

  3. Jim_Lafleur | | #3

    Well if I would run the Fantech 24/7/365 at high it would cost 137$ per year. The Lifebreath would be 104$. Since the difference is negligible, I guess that this factor is not what would help me choose between the two.

  4. jackofalltrades777 | | #4

    What about the UltimateAir ERV? It comes with a 5-year warranty.

  5. Jim_Lafleur | | #5

    The UltimateAir ERV looks good. But I'm looking for an HRV because, in Canada, we have a long heating season. And according to the manual (see belowl), it seems that this machine doesn't handle very cold weather very well. They don't speak about defrosting anywhere else.

    " J5: DEFR OPTS: Defrost Options Jumper. Default position is the ‘0’.
    Between 18ºF - 8ºF The wheel slows to prevent frost accumulation, and
    OFF when outside temperature is below 8ºF. The ‘1’ position will simply
    shut down the machine at below 8ºF. Postion ‘1’ is intended for use with
    a fresh air pre-heater. "

    Thanks Thought.

  6. charlie_sullivan | | #6

    UltimateAir has a comparison chart at

    That doesn't tell you all you want to know but it might help you identify candidates.

    And although I agree that the electric cost difference for the two units you are considering turned out to be small, there's a 4X difference between the best and worst on that chart.

  7. Jim_Lafleur | | #7

    That's a cool chart thanks!

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