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venmar v.s. lifebreath pros and cons

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schiller
schiller Member Posts: 60
I've used the venmar in the past but the last few we have put in have been renew aire. I've avoided recovering air from kitchens, I'm worried about the HX becoming coated. Our typical install has the product recovering the air out of the bath rooms (replacing the bath fans which dump a ton of energy out doors)and distrubuting fresh air to the master bedroom and living rooms. we used a % timer to run the unit a percentage of the time based on the cfm out put and the size of the home and a push button timer to turn the unit on in each of the bath rooms

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  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    venmar v.s. lifebreath pros and cons

    Am getting ready to put in my HRV and am wondering what pluses and minuses these two have so I can make my decision as to which way to go.
    Also, is it necessary to have an intake in the kitchen area if you are using a downdraft fan for the stove, and is it necessary to have a downdraft fan if you have an Hrv intake?
    I don't install HRV's as of this time, but have been around quite a few installations. I am getting at this way late in my project and can't get anybody for at least a month, which is too late.
    Thanks for any replies.
    Rick in Alaska
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    > I've used the venmar in the past but the last few

    > we have put in have been renew aire. I've avoided

    > recovering air from kitchens, I'm worried about

    > the HX becoming coated. Our typical install has

    > the product recovering the air out of the bath

    > rooms (replacing the bath fans which dump a ton

    > of energy out doors)and distrubuting fresh air to

    > the master bedroom and living rooms. we used a %

    > timer to run the unit a percentage of the time

    > based on the cfm out put and the size of the home

    > and a push button timer to turn the unit on in

    > each of the bath rooms



    Thanks for the reply. I have also wondered about the ductwork to the heat exchanger fouling from the kitchen exhaust, but believe it to not be much of a problem in the location I will be pulling from.
    Still doing research on which unit I want to install.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    Thanks for the reply. I have also wondered about the ductwork to the heat exchanger fouling from the kitchen exhaust, but believe it to not be much of a problem in the location I will be pulling from.
    Still doing research on which unit I want to install.
    Rick in Alaska.
  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    If you route the stale air from the bathrooms keep two things in mind:

    1. The typical resdential HRV will move significantly less air that a typical bathroom fan. The HRV will probably move less than a 1/4 volume change rate per hour even at boost, whereas the bath fan will change the entire volume of the bathroom in minutes.

    2. Most residential HRV units will go into a recirculation mode on a timed basis and outdoor temperature to defrost the core. Depending on your design the recirculation mode will either bless the rest of the house with the bathroom air or it will stop any stale air from the bathroom for the duration of the defrost cycle. At Alaska temperatures the HRV may actually be in defrost mode as much as 10 minutes every 20 minutes.

    Read the fine print, understand what you're are asking for and design very carefully.

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  • schiller
    schiller Member Posts: 60
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    Good point I did not consider extended defrost times in alaska, that being said it ERV's are rated to acheave a CFM delivery. code requires 65 cfm so an 130 CFM unit can manage 2 baths. The push button timer over ride the defrost so it would still work. however it seems you should determine the # of air exchanges you want per hour and factor in the extended amount of defrost time
    good luck
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    Thanks for the replies. I also didn't really think about the amount of air exchanges for the bathroom through the hrv. I will have to factor that in to my decision on whether or not to add in an extra bath fan.
    still, any preferences between Lifebreath or Venmar. It looks like the lifebreath uses less power to run and possibly better efficiency, but it also uses a different core. Don't know if it's good or bad.
    Rick in Alaska.
  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    I'm a serviceman...

    The Venmar parts are ridiculously expensive...several hundred dollars for a motor for instance. They are easy to work on.

    Lifebreath seems to be tougher...but alot of the parts look to be the same as venmar...

    Alot of the installers here are take stale air from a central location, say in a common hallway, rather than from the bathroom and leaving bathfans in the design of the home.

    Also, do the math on your fresh air. If you are bringing in subzero air and warming it with satle air at a posted rate of whatever the manufacture is claiming his unit will do, figure out just how "warm" the fresh air will be and see if you want that falling on your bed all night. I get many complaints about drafts from the HRV units and the only real answer is to redirect the airflow or turn it off. For round numbers...minus 30 outside air being warmed by 70 degree inside air at say 70% will give you roughly a 40 degree fresh air draft...and yes...I see them condensating and dripping.

    It's kinda like boilers...lots of installers just stick them in without any real planning or study.

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