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Community and Q&A

Installing a Panasonic ERV

Aun Safe | Posted in Mechanicals on

The installation manual for the Panasonic Intellibalance ERV (model FV-10VE1) does not expressly state that any particular orientation for the ERV unit is required, but the pictures show that (1) If vertically wall mounted, the hinged door faces the opposite wall and swings up to open (page 9 of the manual), (2) if horizontal/hanging mounted, the hinged door faces the floor (page 14 of the manual).  The manual can be obtained from Panasonic’s website: (you might have to copy and paste this URL into a browser if the hyperlink created by this forum doesn’t work).

For my installation I simply want to rest the unit horizontally on blocks (covered by a thin layer of xps foam to provide a somewhat cushioned resting point for the unit).  The hinged door would face upwards.

Does anybody know if that is allowed?  Or are the only allowable unit orientations the ones depicted on pages 9 and 14 of the manual?


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  1. CarsonB | | #1

    Curious about this too, as I am going to do a DIY install of the intellisense soon. I'd also be curious to hear what material you are using for the ducts. How expensive is zehnder's 3" tube vs using semirigid aluminum (dryer duct) or something similar?

    1. Aun Safe | | #4

      I am just planning to use 4" R-8 foil-coated flex duct.

      The Panasonic FV-10VE1 manual says 4" or 6" ducts, so I'm not sure a 3" would work, if your ERV is the same as mine...

      Edited: To note that my duct runs are going to be extremely short and have no branches. If you have longer duct runs or branches, flex duct may not be the best option.

      1. CarsonB | | #5

        The manual specs 4” or 6” connections to the unit, but I see no reason why those can’t branch out as any regular duct design. From what I could find, zehnder recommends one 3” duct per 12cfm, using multiple 3” ducts to meet higher cfm. If this would be better/worse than one 4” duct likely depends on your walls.

        1. Aun Safe | | #6

          Oh, ok. I didn't realize you were planning to use the 3"s as branches off a main 4" or 6" trunk. I agree with you, I see no reason that wouldn't work... just be aware of your static pressure.

          1. Expert Member
            Akos | | #7

            4" duct is a bit too small for the flow rate of the unit. You can use short straight runs of 4" for the outside connections, but that is about it.

            The problem is not necessarly pressure drop but noise.

            You want at least 5", even better 6" for both fresh air and stale air trunks. The branches from there to individual rooms can be relatively small. 3" is more than enough for a bedroom.

  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #2

    Generally with ERVs you can put them in any orientation as there is no condensate to drain away.

    Since the manual only mentions the two orientation, if you want to be safe, mount it on edge. You can build a min wall to hang it.

    1. Aun Safe | | #3

      Thanks, that's what I thought (re: any orientation b/c there is no condensate).

      I'm going to try horizontal mounting with the door facing the ceiling and monitor that for awhile. It's in an easily accessible space so it will be easy to switch it to one of the orientations shown in the manual if necessary.

      I'll try to remember to report back after it's been running for a little while.

      1. Aun Safe | | #8

        Just wanted to report back and say that the horizontal installation has been working fine for a few months now.

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