Zehnder Interview Series: HRV System Installation

Interviewer: Could you introduce yourself, Micky?   

Micky Dunegan:  My name is Micky Dunegan. I am the Technical Sales Representative for the Southwest region, which includes California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

Interviewer: Why should an HRV be separate from the central HVAC system?

There are a number of good reasons to install the HRV system decoupled from a traditional forced air heating system. One of which is your HRV system should be designed to ventilate at precise ventilation rates based on the ventilation needs of the dwelling. When the HRV is coupled with a forced air system, the designed ventilation rates change dramatically when the air handler is operating due to a change in static pressure. This causes the HRV to lose balance and the efficiency of the unit suffers greatly.
When the HRV is installed as a stand-alone system, the continuous flow rates remain consistent as does the efficiency of the HRV as well.

Who usually installs the system (homeowner, builder, HVAC contractor, etc.)?

It is common to find that HVAC Contractors are installing HRVs, however, due to the ease of install combined with the initial design effort and installation support that we offer, often builders can install our system themselves. I have seen some handy homeowners install their own system on more than one occasion.

What’s the advantage of buying a system (unit and air distribution components) to install rather than just a unit and trying to match non-specified ducting and air distribution components?

One of the biggest advantages is that every component in our system from the distribution system to the controls and finish grills are designed, engineered and manufactured to work together. Therefore, the installer will not be made to cobble together a system using random, mismatched materials. This also benefits our design team in that we can easily and confidently design a system that will consistently deliver the desired effect.

How can I learn about installing an HRV on the Zehnder website?

There are a number of helpful and informative tools on our website including installation manuals, videos and specification sheets on many of the components that our systems are comprised of.

How can I be assured the installation was done correctly (answer involving commissioning)?

When the project has been completed a commissioning agent will visit the site to measure the flow rates and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the system is balanced and performing properly.

What are 1-2 recommendations for installers when choosing the best HRV (both ease of installation and performance) for a project?

While it is always important to choose an HRV based on a level of efficiency and overall performance, there are a number of other items to be mindful of as well.  For example, choose a manufacturer who offers a complete system that is designed by their design team to meet the ventilation needs specific to a project, Also, it is always wise to choose a manufacturer that provides a thorough system commissioning upon completion for quality assurance.