hrv setup with honeywell hepa - contractor says will not work

lalitharDecember 2, 2011

Can some of the experts in this forum advice me on this setup please. Can an HRV system be installed with a HEPA filtration system like Honeywell F500?

We have a furnace in the attic for our single level house in California. My gc recommends a HRV system instead of fans in each bathroom, laundry etc. Says it will equally well and will be cost effective compared to fans for 3baths, 1laundry etc with additional benefit of getting fresh air into the house all the time. We have some Asthma issues in our house and I wanted to install a HEPA system like Honeywell F500 as well. Neither my GC nor his HVAC sub have any experience with this. First the HVAC guys said said it is not possible with the HRV, then said that HEPA system may be redundant. The manual says it is possible and suggests the setup as shown on page 4 here. The HVAC guys says that the way it is drawn in the manual on page 4 is ok, but it will only work well when the furnace is on (barely 3-4 months here in CA). There is a slight modification that they can do to have it working all the time. However, if they do this, the HEPA will clean up the air coming from the outside via the HRV but there will no filtration on the air recirculating in the house. This means that any pollens or any dust in the house will never get filtered. To fix this, they propose that they use the originally specified April Air or equivalent filter to catch this dust etc.

This seems much less useful to me as I want to particularly filter dust mites and other internal allergens in the HEPA as well. Should I nix the HRV and go with panasonic fans in the bathrooms?

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understand that if you are running either fans or the hrv, you are bringing in outside air. Depending on the severity of your athsma, you may want filtration on that air

Also you will surely want filtration when the furnace is running.

I think if you want HEPA filtration on the HRV,then fine, do that. But you should also do a second HEPA filter system on your heating air stream.

Would you keep windows closed and run the air handler fan to simply filter your air in non-heat months? Do you have air conditioning?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 7:35AM
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We do not have an AC. For most of the year, we need no furnace either. What i had hoped for is that HRV and HEPA would run quietly all the time to bring fresh air in and keep the allergen level down. I am wondering if perhaps I should avoid the HEPA altogether or do it as a separate install instead of looping it with the HRV. The house is only about 2000 sq.ft and is single level. We are also doing a central vac with HAH.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:26AM
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This system is set up to work with a constant air flow. If you are bringing in outside air it will need to be filtered as well as the inside air. In other words If you require a certain fresh air intake in your house, which is usually only required in large commercial buildings, than you would need to run your fan continuously in you hvac system to continually circulate the air in your house. Now if you are getting this heat recovery system to save energy in the winter than you would only need to operate the system when the furnace is on. Then the problem would be what happens when you need ventilation in your bathroom during the summer? You would be pulling hot air into you system and running you whole house hvac fan. In other words a HRS is not practical for use in you house just put standard vents in your bathrooms to pull out the moisture and install a hepa air filter to clean your air when you choose. Besides most residential companies do not install systems like this unless they charge a large amount to do it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:54AM
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