Experience With Panasonic Intelli-Balance 200 ERV
I was posting some ERV selection questions here a while ago but circling back now, particularly because of the new Panasonic Intelli-Balance 200 model that just recently became available on US market. I’m switching from the failed Ultimate Air 200 unit and had my eyes on Pana 200 version for a long time. There are not too many online sources that sell it yet and the lead time is at least a month. Has anyone had a chance to get/install this unit and what is your opinion on its workmanship and efficiency? I was also comparing it to the Broan 250 CFM HE Series, but that unit has a much longer lead time, so I’m still leaning towards Panasonic.
Thanks in advance and appreciate any feedback.
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I have also been waiting for this as the 100 cfm was boderline for my house, but it looks like its 2725 at supplhouse ( and a month out from availibilty). That is nearly 3x the cost of the 100…. I haven’t run the numbers, but I doubt the efficiency gains over something like a broan ai will pencil out. This will be great once the price drops though!
Carson, the price has jacked up last week from $1875. I asked the support about the reasons for the increase, and they said Panasonic set the new higher minimum negotiated price for resellers. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me as 100 model still goes for around 1000 bucks everywhere. That being said, back in September, I actually suggested for Supply House to start selling 200 model since it has become available on US market. And it only took them a month to actually do it which I find impressive. I spoke with support again via chat and they honored the original price to me. Now, God knows how long it'd take them to ship but at least they don't charge you until it is. I'll keep you guys posted on its quality when the unit arrives. For now, back to the good ol' Ultimate Air with a shot "pizza tray" bearing.
1875 would have been better… but that’s still a lot more than a 160 cfm broan ai erv for 1200. That’s concerning about the price. The 100 may go up in price soon too, it could be that dealers are just selling through their existing inventory if it works like lumber.
Unfortunately can't comment on the Panasonic. But since your are coming from an Ultimate Air, you might be interested in my very recent interaction with the Broan support regarding a warranty claim. We have a Broan ERV200TE. 18 months in and pretty happy with it, but unfortunately one of the ECM blowers is on its way out -- bad bearing. Contacted Broan tech support and after a pleasant 10 min call I had a new blower assembly in the mail my way. From this point of view I am happy we went with Broan.
Good to hear tobias, i’m likely going with a 150cfm broan ai. Not as efficient or well regarded as the panasonic, but gives me more cfm wiggle room than the 100 and a lot cheaper than the 200 currently is.
I have finally received my Panasonic IB 200 and will be instilling it this weekend. It has a booster function but does not come with any accessories. It takes place of a failed UltimateAir unit. Since it’s a retrofit installation, I’d like to find a feasible solution to use the booster function without running any wires through the wall. It’s been a while since I asked these questions on GreenBuildingAdvisor, so need some refreshment. According to the manual, I can connect a wall switch, a 2-wire booster switch, and a wall control panel that controls booster function with timer, filter indicator, air volume, etc. This panel is rather expensive for what it is, and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a wireless setup that would trigger booster function from multiple locations and possibly bypass the panel. There were earlier suggestions on this forum to use a wireless transmitter/receiver combo by Leviton but its receiver has a 5-wire connection and I can’t see the way to use it directly on the ERV unit. I would really appreciate your updated advice on any available options, brands, etc. Obviously, if connecting through the wall panel is the only way, I’ll bite the bullet and buy it separately. Would I be able to connect a 5-wire receiver directly to it?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
The IB-200 uses similar controls to their spot ERV. Both boost and enable use switched 120V signal, which means you can use standard smart controls.
The controls must have a neutral and with no minimum load to work properly. Most newer occupancy sensors and timers designed to work with LEDs should work. You can wire the output from a number of these sensors in parallel to drive the boost input on the IB-200.
For bathrooms, I find a motion sensor works the best as it means no user input is required. Walk in, the ERV goes to boost, turns off after no motion detected. I've used the Lutron MS-OPS2H-WH-C with their sport ERV and works great.
For the kitchen area go for a 2h or 4h countdown timer or a simple paddle switch. The standard 60min ones are too short and not enough to clear the house after cooking.
I would only wire one enable paddle switch near the unit as you should only have to turn the unit off for service.
Akos, thanks for your suggestion. Sorry, I'm still a bit confused.
My understanding was that I'd have to buy their wall control unit to connect the receiver and switches. One contributor on a different thread suggested using Panasonic's native wall control with their Cosmos module and switches: https://na.panasonic.com/ca/home-building-solutions/smart-devices/smart-switches. The wall control is scarce but available on US market, looks like the Comos module is not (not even properly marketed on Pana US site.).
Could you please clarify your suggestion again?
I'm going by the wiring diagram on P 6 here:
The unit can be controlled a number of ways, one of them is through a simple switch input. Since these are 120V AC inputs, you can use standard wall controls for driving it. No need for either Panasonic or Cosmos devices.
I know from my own ERV at home, once the novelty of the remote indicators wore off, about the only thing I ever touch is the boost control.
Maybe wire in a stand alone humidistat as well to the boost input if you need to deal with high wintertime indoor humidity.
so to make everything wireless, I'd need to get something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-Series-RMJ-16R-DV-B-Relay-Module/dp/B006UTPX7U and connect to the unit? it would then be wirelessly connected to all sensors?
I think it should work, but you have to check the manuals. Make sure the unit has no minimum load requirement. I think that is 16A or 20A module.
If you show that diagram to a competent electrician, they should be able to wire up the system with stock parts from a local electrical supply house.
Just wondering if there's any more input on this. The IB200 looks like a very good product with flexible installation options and CFM selections. I like the idea of being able to set balanced, positive or negative pressure as I'm not entirely sure what will work best. But the price is insane and I'm looking for some justification that's it's 2x better than say a Broan AI Series.
Broan seems to have a good reputation here, especially with service issues, buying parts, etc. I'm not sure if that's the case with Panasonic.
I'm considering Zehnder ComfoAir, Pansonic Intelli-Balance, or Lunos e2 and eGo for my new construction. Leaning heavily toward Panasonic Intelli-Balance. Subscribing to get future replies or add my input down the road.
@Alan, We were debating all of these same units as well for a nearly new construction renovation in Santa Fe. FWIW, we ended up with 2x Panasonic IB 100s, one to feed each side of the 3k sf house with minimized duct runs. Was best bang for buck, with a bit more control to control supply locations and balancing than the Lunos.
The one big upside to the IB200 over the 100 that almost swayed us was the ability to put a HEPA filter in it which is important in wildfire or fine particulate prone area, but the tradeoff in duct runs and cost wasn't worth it in the end.
How did you approach the bathroom exhaust fans? Did you get rid of those and exhaust them with the Panasonic erv?
We just put conventional exhausts on the baths with timer switches. We use the bath exhaust so infrequently that we decided to simplify our return runs to just pull at the ERV, so our duct runs are really just supply and intake/exhaust. This also allows us to entirely decouple exhaust from fresh air and turn the ERVs off entirely in the case of a nearby wildfire, or any other scenario where we don’t want to run them, and focus their use primarily on fresh air to bedrooms at night which was our main concern.
I've been running this unit for just under a year. Keep in mind it uses a disposable pleated filter on the intake air, with a 90 day replacement suggestion. They're MERV 13, so they're not cheap. Running around 88 watts, the filter cost far outweighs the electricity cost.
I'm not dissatisfied -- it pumps clean, preconditioned air as advertised -- but it's something to be aware of.