home ventilation system (EZ Breathe)

kaybreeApril 17, 2006

Hello!

Has anyone out there had the EZ Breathe Ventilation system installed in their house? We have a 2ft crawl space in Florida with a definite moisture problem. This company mostly installs in basements but claims that it can also install into a crawl space. They say they will get rid of the dampness and mold problem in our house. It's quite pricey, so I just hoped I could get some feedback from someone who actually has a unit installed.

Thanks!

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uncledave_ct

I didn't see any information regarding where it gets its makeup air from. It states that it creates a negative pressure, so it must be relying on infiltration? So the number of air exchanges would depend on how tight the construction is. Plus the makeup air would be unconditioned and would need to be heated/cooled. I don't see how expensive it is, but it sounds much less efficient, and less effective, than an ERV/HRV. It would be great if you can get the objective opinion of someone who has lived with this system, if you can find anyone.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 10:05AM
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kaybree

Thanks for the reply. I think you're right about the tight construction. Our house is 46 years old, so I don't think it's very tightly constructed. I really didn't understand where the makeup air is coming from either. I did manage to get a couple of names of people that supposedly had this installed in crawl spaces in Florida. I'm going to try to reach them today. I'll have to look into ERV/HRV. Don't know what this is.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 10:29AM
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kaybree

I forgot to mention that they are asking $1,499 for this system. They say they will give is one year to decide if it's doing what we want it to and if it isn't then they will come remove it and refund our money.

The main objective we wanted to accomplish is removing the dampness from the house. I quickly looked up ERV/HRV and if I'm reading correctly it may not be for such a humid climate as we have. ?????????

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 10:37AM
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lourock

I usually hang out in the Electrical and Remodelling forums but decided to check this one out today. I also live in Florida and am in the process of a whole house remodel. I have done many things to address future moisture issues (cross my fingers). Read this and see if any of this info helps you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Humidity Control in the Humid South

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 6:05PM
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lonegreyrabbit

i'm interested in this system, also. their website is www.ezbreathe.com. if the system works, i'd like to get one also, so am anxious to hear about anyones first hand experience with it. i was exploring goggle for information, when i came across this forum on garden web, which is one of my very favorite sites.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:35PM
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chuckfh

Purchased an EZ Breathe a few years ago.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 12:43PM
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kaybree

Hello chuckfh,

Was yours installed in a basement or crawl space? How has it worked for you?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 1:10PM
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cissado

I'm not a pro, and I don't know ANYTHING about this product, but from the little I've read from the link, it seems "too good to be true" type of deal.

"Uses $2/MONTH"?!? while dehumidifying as much as 7 dehumidifiers? hmmm. That simply can't happen. There are very efficient dehumidifiers out there that are very expensive, and worth the money if you need it, but this just sounds too good with no real numbers behind it. I didn't read the whole link though.

Lourock's link is very informative about dehumidifying.. "in the deep south" As a homeowner I would go that route before the above system.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:04AM
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trault_comcast_net

I just talked to an architect who said he had it installed in his home and it keeps his basement bone dry. He seemed very happy with it.

As a Chemical & Process Engineer I am a little concerned about the "Scientific Testing" they claim. The Outside Spores measurement is the baseline for their evaluation and it moves too much to draw any conclusions from the rest of the data.

It seems like all this thing is, is a fan connected to a humidistat. Someone quoted $1499 for this system??? It seems a little high for what you get. I guess someone at EZ Breathe thinks that the idea to blow air out of your house controlled by humidity justifies the premium. I'm not convinced.

The ERV/HRV seems like a better option. The ERV/HRV does the same thing in terms of expelling internal air from the house, but adds the heat exchange piece so you're energy efficient. Doesn't seem right to exhaust heated air...

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 10:44PM
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moby_2008

DO NOT BUY an EZ BREATHE Ventilation System! There can't be one building scientist worth his weight that backs the use of this system. This machine is a massive energy wasting device. Common sense should have shut this down when it started. This machine actually takes the air you have just spent massive money on conditioning and shoves it outside! What kind of thinking is that? The best thing you can do is completely seal off the building envelope and keep the conditioned air INSIDE! Don't force it outside! If you are having trouble with mold, moisture or mildew....the best thing to do is dehumidify that area. There are some great dehumidifiers out there. I would stay away from the local home improvement center dehumidifiers, they are usually to small and won't do the job. Some good ones are the Sante Fe, or Sani-Dry, or Aprilaire, or equivalent. These are a little pricey....but will save you alot more in the long run. Just please DON'T WASTE ENERGY Shoving your conditioned air outside!!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 10:12AM
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mninstaller

Hello to the forum.

For the past year I've been installing the EZ Breathe ventilation systems in over thirty houses/buildings/museums in central Minnesota.

In the 33 units we have installed, one customer has taken the unit out (because he couldn't come to terms that it was going to help with his repertory issues.)

We (Dirks Furniture Store in Olivia, MN is a licensed seller of the EZ Breathe system) have had great feedback from the units and have also gotten referrals from happy customers.
We have installed the units in the basements of a dentists office, lawyers office, hospital, and a printing/advertising place (all where "the books"/records are kept.)
I'm not going to toot our, or anyone elseÂs horn about how great the unit is (I don't make commission; I just do the installs when they sell one.) but I will simply say this:

(One a side note, moby_2008 needs to calm down first of all. The man needs to listen to his own advise:
"...the best thing to do is dehumidify that area." ) This is the main reason to put in the EZ Breathe unit. The cleaner air, sweat-free windows in the winter, reduction in insects in the home, lower radon levels....... are all a bonus! Consider the following:

The worst, most damp, humid and stale air is residing 2 - 14" off the basement floor. Ironically enough, the EZ Breathe unit sits 2" off the bottom of the floor and uses its fan to blow that damp air outside, and then uses the "scientific" (read: magic) theory of negative pressure to exhaust that cool damp, stale air outside (constantly - and at around $4.00/month, not $2.00) in a vapor form, just like the theory of your exhaust fan that's in almost every bathroom.
That theory (is this smoke and mirrors too, Moby_2008?) is that the hot, humid air rises, and the exhaust fan pushes it outside in a vapor form. Same theory, only with cool, damp air in the basement.
I'm sorry to say, but the unitÂs only flaw is its simplicity.
And we also say the same thing that kaybree mentioned. If it doesn't work, and you're not happy after a year of the unit running, we'll come take it out and give you your $1,500 back.

Find me an HVAC guy that'll tell you that about his $5,000+ air exchanger.

Before I sign off, let me just say this (ESPECIALLY IN CENTRAL MN) please have your radon levels in your home checked. I've lived in my home with a level around 8 - 10 (save level ~2-3; state action level >4) We just put a unit in the basement of a home in MN where two different test came back at 43, and then 62!)
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. I bid everyone a good day, and wait to hear of good comments, bad comments, and questions I may have stirred up.

The long and short of it is, just keep the air in your home as clean as you try to keep your home itself.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:00AM
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donnap_2009

Do I need air conditioning in my basement for this to be effective? This has been a terrible summer for moisture in my newly finished basement.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:45PM
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ben1760

So I recently installed the EZ Breathe ventilation system in my basement and it appears to be working BUT what I felt was not disclosed fully (and maybe I should have realized this) that the system depends on the humidity above the basement to be lower than the basement. So when the house is in a season (like now) where the air conditioner or the furnace is not running the humidity outside is high, the humidity in the basement will be high.

For instance, the outside is currently running around 70% and the temperature is a between 68 to 80. In the house, the humidity is running around 65% with the temperature in the lower 70's. I have my air conditioner set for 75 degrees so it only turns on in the latter part of the afternoon and evening. With the EZ Breathe running the basement went from 58% to 65%. So in the wrong direction but essentially the EZ Breathe is doing exactly what it is designed to do.

In the manual, it says that during periods of the year when the air conditioner or the heater is off, you may have to run a dehumidifier. But I thought the point was for EZ Breathe to lower humidity.

Unfortunately, my house naturally stays around 70 to 75 degrees so I use the air conditioner minimally, so I am not sure if EZ Breathe will be of any use. It may be getting rid of dust, mold gases, radon... but it is hard to detect.

So I am disappointed.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:58PM
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macv

The system appears to be roughly equivalent to opening a window.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 1:24PM
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brickeyee

Agree with macv. open a window.

All this thing is doing is blowing inside air out of the house (the air you already payed to heat or cool).

That means the outside air is leaking into the house, carrying whatever happens to be in it (pollen, mold spores, etc.) and at the outside air temperature.

It is NOT doing anything to filter, warm, or cool the air leaking in.

The RH in winter is normally pretty low (cold air just cannot hold that much water) so it will dry things out in the winter.

Of course if the humidity is high in the summer that is the air it will be pulling in to then load down your AC system trying to dry the air out.

At least an HRV can have some filters on the incoming air and will condition the incoming air a little (warm or cool depending on what is being exhausted).

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 5:03PM
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brickert2004_gmail_com

brickeyee

Firstly the WORST thing you can do for your air quality is to tighten up your home more than the new ones already are. With all the chemicals in the paint, flooring fabrics and everything we clean with in the air, you need to turn it over frequently to maintain a healthy living environment. From what I can see of the simple principles this unit is built around, it does precisly that. As for the loss of the air which has been "cooled" in the summer, your air conditioner needs to constantly cool the air to maintian the temperature you want to keep it at. the longer the air is kept in the house the more humidity it collects, even just from your breath. It is much harder for your air conditioner to cool the highly humid air in the home than it is to bring in new less humid air to cool it, thus the reduction in cost. The only problem is that on very humid days you may need to run a de-humidifier to reduse the humidity because the air outside may be just as humid as the air inside (as the manual states). My main problem is condensation during the winter months, so I may not use it as much during the summer so I dont see an issue. It's much cheaper than a HVAC unit and much easier to install, so I'm seriously thinking this could be the way to go for me.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:13PM
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brickeyee

"As for the loss of the air which has been "cooled" in the summer, your air conditioner needs to constantly cool the air to maintian the temperature you want to keep it at. the longer the air is kept in the house the more humidity it collects, even just from your breath. It is much harder for your air conditioner to cool the highly humid air in the home than it is to bring in new less humid air to cool it, thus the reduction in cost. "

I do not know where you live, but in many places the outside air is FAR more humid in the summer than the indoor air could ever get from humans, showers, etc.

AC systems work just as hard to remove ANY humidity.
The source is not important.

Instead of paying money for this thing, just open a window.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 10:38AM
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Zatheress

hi well i bought one of these ez breathe about 6 months ago. I can't say i am seeing ne difference @ all yet.

main reason i got this is my windows sweat in the winter, according to ez breathe "this is what you need" Well @ this point i don't think it is, but i will give it the year and see if it helps with the winter sweating. But honestly i think it's gonna be going back from what iv'e seen so far.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 7:17AM
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