Not since the 1980s has there been such a desperate cry for ventilation help. Back then, sick building syndrome became a concern thanks to tighter building standards designed to save energy. Suddenly packed into the likes of a sealed milk container, home and building inhabitants began suffering the health effects of recirculating stale air, pollutants, and pathogens. The solution was to add a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) to pretty much act as a straw popped into the container!
Today, COVID has upped the ante and demand for optimal Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Simply put, the more effectively indoor air is exchanged for outdoor air (and filtered), the better a building’s HVAC can protect residents from catching the virus. While nothing is 100%, one thing is certain: High-performance mechanical ventilation is key for prevention. It’s the reason we feel our BPE ERV systems are more important than ever, and we are proud of the results clients have achieved during these difficult times,
Help for hot yoga.
Our Yoga Place, intent on designing their space to uphold the utmost in healthy conditions—not easy in a sweaty, breathing intensive hot yoga environment. BPE ERV units were among the high-quality equipment and systems they employed to achieve that. The inspired planning was even more important than they realized: When the pandemic hit, Our Yoga Place had confidence in remaining open when so many recreational facilities could not. (Read their story.)
Mechanical ventilation … It’s a beautiful thing!
Similarly, when the owners of Grateful Heads, a beauty salon, needed to renovate their new space to meet local codes, optimal ventilation was vital simply due to typical salon activities and chemical processes. Naturally, when the pandemic hit, they were ready thanks to the mechanical ventilation stylings of their BPE-XE-MIR-1000 ERV. (Read their story.)
What do they say? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wondering if implementing an ERV in your space is a hassle? Hardly. Take a gander at our Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual. Certainly, some setups may demand more custom configurations, but BPE is always ready to assist. Just call technical support at (201) 722-1414.
The manual goes far further in depth on the following key installation points:
- Typically, all outdoor airflows must be passed through the heat exchanger by the inlets and outlets labeled as AIRFLOW 1; all exhaust and/or return airflows must be passed through the heat exchanger by the inlets and outlets labeled AIRLFOW 2.
- It is essential that the fans are placed in the proper configuration to prevent cross contamination and for optimization of BPE’s patented latent effect technology, Regenerative Condensate Return®. For all counter-flow, comfort-to-comfort or process-to-comfort applications, supply and exhaust fans will always be located on the same side of the heat exchanger with airflows traveling in opposite directions.
- With the exception of fan and heat exchanger connections and inlet/outlet, all ductwork within the system should be sized for providing air velocities of less than 500 linear feet per minute (fpm).
- Z-Clip length connecting ERV inlets and outlets of both airflows should be determined based upon model size and airflow.
- When connecting ductwork, more gentle transitions will provide more even air flow into the ERM and increase the efficiency of the energy recovery system. Short straight runs with minimal static pressure losses will greatly reduce energy losses from fan power working to overcome higher than needed static pressure. A sharp bend without the proper vanes can generate as much static pressure as an inline filter and increase the fan power need to move the specified air flow.
- For using ERV systems in conditions below -10F and/or above 40% relative humidity we recommend the ductwork being sealed and sloped towards the ERV, the ERV should be sloped as well. The slope should be uniform and must not be less than one-eighth unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (1-percent slope) or to local building code, whichever is more stringent. A drain is recommended to be installed in the ductwork in humid conditions.
- It is crucial to abide by ASHRAE Standard 62.1 – 2019 System and Equipment Specifications during installation. These are discussed further in the Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual.
- Critical: Never install a stale air exhaust register in a room where a combustion device operates, such as a gas water heater, a gas furnace, or a fireplace.
- Install the fresh air distribution register(s) in a large open area in the lowest level to ensure the greatest possible air circulation. Keep in mind that the fresh air register(s) must be located as far as possible from the stale air register(s).
- Locate the BPE air-to-air heat exchanger (AAHX) in close proximity to a fused power 16 source. If the unit is installed independent of a forced air system, locate the ductwork near the center of the air distribution system.
- Always refer to a licensed professional engineering and local codes when installing ductwork modifications or new systems. While we believe this information to be accurate, we cannot address all code requirements for all locations. Local, State and Federal building standards and codes will change depending on the type of project and the intended use for different applications and locations.