Energy Recovery Systems For Passive House

Since Eco Brooklyns larger projects in New York are all Passive House standard now we have become very interested in Energy Recovery Systems (ERV).

An ERV passes air between the house and the outside so that there is a constant fresh supply of air in the house. This is needed since Passive Houses, and all good green building, are very well sealed and don’t breathe on their own. It is called an ERV because it exchanges the energy and humidity between the incoming and outgoing air, thus increasing the house efficiency.

Two popular units are the Zehnder and the Ultimate Air. The Zehnder is a good ERV and the one we are installing in our Brooklyn green show house but it is quite costly. Most people will not be able to afford it and that is a major con for the unit.

The Ultimate Air is affordable and also good. But it uses a lot of electricity. It can also be noise.

Given those points, the new VanEE 90H ECM is a very interesting find and probably our choice for an upcoming Passive House we are building for some middle class clients.

Another worth looking into is one by Carrier

According to the invaluable  HVI listings, the Carrier is slightly better at all categories compared to the Ultimate Air, including sensible recovery efficiency, latent recovery/moisture transfer, and total recovery efficiency–and also draws less wattage.  It also shows up in various vendor sites as $20 cheaper.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

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