High-efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilators are what you want for balanced ventilation in a home or commercial space, but the right philosophy on controls can help fine tune DCV further.To help manage your IAQ and energy bills more precisely, keep the following in mind when purchasing and installing an ERV:
Don’t shut off your ERV.
Specific ventilation codes in your area and/or industry may insist on continuous mechanical ventilation while people are in the building. In fact, it can be illegal to shut your system down while trying to correct for thermal comfort in an occupied space. Feeling the need to shut the unit down or make significant control adjustments in the first place suggests your ERV is a low-performing device and might be of better use in a dumpster.
Why not turn it off overnight when the building is unoccupied? A quality ERV is designed to work continuously. When you shut it off in an empty space, you’re messing with ventilation balance and allowing stale air and pollutants to build up in the air. Sure, you could offer employees a second round of coffee when they begin the day sluggish thanks to less than optimal IAQ. Or you can make your unit work double-time to spit out the bad air in the morning, further messing with ventilation balance. Smarter? Keep your ERV system running on low overnight.
Choose speed controls wisely.
Balanced ventilation typically being the goal, occupants may find the need to compensate for changes in IAQ via controls. Indoor air quality can fluctuate depending on climate and indoor or outdoor pollution. This is where the right controls come in handy for fine-tuning a high-efficiency system. How do you select the right controls for your ERVs fans? See the chart below:
Consider Managing your ERV system via a CO2 sensor.
Choose controls that incorporate a CO2 sensor and your ERV can manipulate IAQ based on CO2 levels. Is your space feeling stuffy thanks to a higher than usual capacity of folks expelling too much CO2? The right controls can pick up on that and prompt the fans to bring in more fresh air. Building empty for the night? CO2-savvy controls can bring down cfm accordingly.
Need help choosing ERV blower controls?
BPE recommends and manufactures dual fan control units which can react to various conditions such as changes in temperature and CO2 levels. Sold separately or in ERV packages, they are a perfect match for our high-efficiency, larger commercial units.
For residential and office use, we have developed a ‘plug-and-play’ line of ERVs with factory-calibrated full variable speed control for each fan right on the unit. For our smallest unit, the 200-i, the fans are actually integral to the design. You won’t find a more highly efficient, simpler solution for residential or small office comfort.
From simple spaces to complex industrial HVAC challenges, BPE is ready to help you enjoy pristine IAQ, thermal comfort, and lower energy bills. Give us a call now!