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Heat Recovery Ventilation,the best DIY project..."probably" !

  • 20-09-2015 6:44pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Hello,

    After more than a month reading, watching, asking and guessing AND not lastly, thanks to all the boardies here, i decided to purchase and install HRV system. Actually, mostly forced by the huge amount of insulation around my home's walls...

    So, i have decided to go with this unit from here. Full details and the newer unit is on the manufacturer's web site here.
    I have no connection with company apart from a very satisfied customer and user of the unit.

    I could say and stand to be corrected, is the best unit on the market at the moment. It has all the mechanical and electronics that match and beats the competition.
    I went for the 350 as I did the maths and I need around 150-200 but, by using the 350 at half, i can setup the DC engines at 15%,30% and 50% off the total available power. I'm using less energy, less noise and keeping the unit running at half possible extending it's life time.

    I've decided to collect the unit as I didn't had the patience to wait at home for the courier. Is big, maybe too big for my initial "reaction"...

    363125.jpg

    Once home, i had to cut the plasterboard between joists so that the unit, without the side panels can fit exactly up and above in the attic.
    I build a floor from some older wooden floors and I'm waiting to finish a roof window and insulate the attic with an insulating board.

    363126.jpg

    The controller, that is touch screen is ...so fcuking beautiful and has all the settings for a normal user and hidden engineers settings. The cable is long enough to allow installing downstairs, away from the main unit. You have to open the controller unit and disconnect the 4 wires and run the cable trough the plaster then re-connect them, all in plain English info on the PCB board.

    I need to connect it to 220v as well and to make sure that I have made the condensation pipe connected to the unit and going outside, at a 5-10" angle.

    I've purchased manifolds for air supply and intake, with 12 connectors, just in case. The manifold from here is acoustic insulated, crosswire talk and look & fill nice.

    I've chosen the round ducting as I have seen a movie clip somewhere on how you can "develop" a cleaning solution by using a hard wire brush introduced in the ducting at the vents level and then disconnecting the duct from manifold, you can get the hover sucking all the impurities from the duct. Also, the pipes are flexible but with a smooth internal side. Of course, treated for antistatic and anti-bacterial.

    Also, the chosen room' vents are non-adjustable...I know, some may say is wrong ! Well, these guys advise me to go with non as in the manifold there is a pressure adjuster disk. Once I finish the system installation, i give them a layout with the pipe length and based on it, they will tell me how many rings out of that disk to keep or remove so that the pressure to be constant all across the venting... Smart isn't !?

    By using a complete line of manifold - round duct - connectors I can safely say I build a complete airtight link from manifold to room's vent. Best system out there...
    See manual here for a complete list of the items that I can select to build the system, independent by chosen unit, from manifold to vent.

    Waiting for few more parts to arrive and to get the unit connected to mains...

    Keep you posted...


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,222 ✭✭✭ 893bet


    Good luck. Have u had an Airtightness test done in your home?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    893bet wrote: »
    Good luck. Have u had an Airtightness test done in your home?

    Thanks,I need it.

    Re airtightness...as is a house about 15 years old,built by some under principle "one a week,show me the cash",I paid attention to attic,doors,floor,walls and windows.

    Attic is been fully sealed and insulated with foil.Few vents for fresh air and a attic window.
    Doors,the front I'm getting a second front door installed next month while in the back,well I hope that college fees will be reduced and to build a small extension that will convert the external two doors to internal by conversion.
    Floors,all ground well insulated and UFH installed.First floor done when I've insulated the internal walls with 100mm plaster insulating boards.
    Walls,just finished external insulation on 2 sides and other 2 sides internal,creating a complete insulating areas.Left front side untouched outside,insulated only internal,I have 3 walls sides outdoor.
    Windows,I've closed the natural ventilation with sound tape and thermo tape.Replaced locks and hinges on all windows.

    I'm going to double check every square mm of external to internal exposure surface next week.

    I hope that will suffice as budget is extremely stretched out....waiting for some savings to come in first. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 803 ✭✭✭ mp31


    rolion wrote: »
    Walls,just finished external insulation on 2 sides and other 2 sides internal,creating a complete insulating areas.Left front side untouched outside,insulated only internal,I have 3 walls sides outdoor.
    Windows,I've closed the natural ventilation with sound tape and thermo tape.Replaced locks and hinges on all windows.

    I'm very interested in hearing more about your experiences of installing your own external insulation. What did you install? How much and was it easy/difficult? Is it something that a reasonably competent DIY'er can do?


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF


    Op let us know when you do the air-tightness test

    And let us know when the mech engineer balances the mvhe system and gives you a cert to state part f of the building regs is conplied with


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    mp31 wrote: »
    I'm very interested in hearing more about your experiences of installing your own external insulation. What did you install? How much and was it easy/difficult? Is it something that a reasonably competent DIY'er can do?

    I've started doing internal but due to noise, dust and mess I end up doing it externally on 2 walls. Easy to put the insulating boards, drilling and so on but at skimming the primary, the mesh and final paint I had to call a friend that runs a specialised business as the back to work took all my available time.

    My friendly advise: get a "blank" cheque, call somebody that does this every day,leave house for 2 weeks, enjoy it and come back in to a clean nice home.

    I did it for fun and to see if I can do it. I may hesitate to do it again myself, possible yes, but with help and massive free time.

    In the end came less than the €14k quoted anyway...

    Enjoy it.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    BryanF wrote: »
    Op let us know when you do the air-tightness test

    And let us know when the mech engineer balances the mvhe system and gives you a cert to state part f of the building regs is conplied with


    I've called an air test company and I am expecting a call next month, as I have to repair the holes in the ceiling created by the HRV vents... :)
    I have to finish the attic insulation, after I complete the solar tubes and may get solar PVs.

    Not really caring about the building certs, is my home not my house...is a 17 years old building, what building regs I need !?

    If I can find who build the house in a so ****thy conditions, with so crappy quality and no responsibility...I wanna find that fcuking developer and the builders that did it...then I will remind them about the regs "one week, one house, give me the cash, hide it away offshore" ... I may have a chance to find them working at NAMA, paid by me and you to take care of their own places...please do not get me started on that.

    I hope that with the new legal framework, these days the construction of the houses is better but dunno...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Well, I've managed to get the unit running.
    Connected the power cables.
    Ran all 4 hoses, pipes and roof vents for air intake and exhaust.

    Used this type of pipe.
    From the unit to roof vents used this type, also from the unit to two manifolds.
    Supposed to be better insulated acoustic and temperature.

    364818.jpg

    From the manifolds used the round ducting, better for air flow, speed and noiseless. Also, easy to clean when needed.

    The unit runs nicely...nothing to complain so far.

    364814.jpg

    Main Menu is very intuitive:

    364816.jpg

    I can select individual speed for both fans, so that the warm air to go outside faster then the cold air coming inside.

    364815.jpg

    Best option is the daily/weekly timer, i can set so that at 8am to get a fresh breeze of "cold" air to freshen up the house. Also, night time on speed1 to be nice smooth and quiet.

    364819.jpg

    I'm finishing running the ducts all the bedrooms and rooms downstairs, i will post the photo of the disaster...plasterboard "wide open cracked", so that I can get my hands inside the ceiling for handling the piping ends...crazy !

    Anyone willing to DIY mHRV in a old home ...make sure you have a plasterer and/or a painter in stand-by after you finish running ducting.

    Have fun...


  • Registered Users Posts: 265 ✭✭ SemperFidelis


    I'm about to start this job myself, nice to see I'm not the only one crazy enough to try it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    I'm about to start this job myself, nice to see I'm not the only one crazy enough to try it.

    No, no at all ! I'm sure you will have fun.
    Just allocate plenty of time and really enjoy it...
    If you need any help, please ask me.

    What unit, ducting, vents are you going to use ?


    In meantime, I finished few ceiling vents, I really need to up-skill my plaster/painter secrets ...

    365480.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Few more ceiling snapshots:

    Ducting/pipe ending inside the ceiling plasterboard, coming in to bedrooms.
    Easier, much easier and cleaner to work than on the downstairs rooms.

    Plenty of filling foam to block any sound/cold vibrations !

    365498.jpg


    365499.jpg


    365500.jpg


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    In the cold dark scary attic, work still in progress:

    Please note the right blue dual ducting, round and with the 90" termination piece:

    365503.jpg


    365504.jpg


    Still working to completely insulate the mHRV unit, just not enough "Saturday" hours left to do it...
    And still many thanks to those that share their experience online so that it makes my life easier ! :)


    365501.jpg

    365502.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 265 ✭✭ SemperFidelis


    I went with the Vent Axia Sentinel Kinetic unit, Semi rigid PFTE ducts from 2 manifolds similar to yours but not as good, they're just metal boxes with no insulation. I'm going to run spiral steel ducts to the gable end for input/output to unit and wrap it with a few layers of duct insulation. I'll throw up some pics once I get started.

    Why are you making such big holes for the supply/extract valves? Could you not just use a hole saw to drill a hole the correct size to fit the pipe?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    I went with the Vent Axia Sentinel Kinetic unit, Semi rigid PFTE ducts from 2 manifolds similar to yours but not as good, they're just metal boxes with no insulation. I'm going to run spiral steel ducts to the gable end for input/output to unit and wrap it with a few layers of duct insulation. I'll throw up some pics once I get started.

    Why are you making such big holes for the supply/extract valves? Could you not just use a hole saw to drill a hole the correct size to fit the pipe?


    Good series, was looking at it myself...make sure you get the best unit ! :)
    Don't compromise on pipes/ducting/manifold at all cost ...
    You will have issues cleaning the system, you will have cross talk room to room and also, noise from the system. Make sure they are dual skins, with anti bacterial /antistatic protection

    Have a look here on one of the reasons why I picked my ducting:




    Re my setup...I am forced to make those holes due to the nature of my "skills" and that i'm using the 90 degrees pipe-to-vent elbow adapter. Downstairs is very tricky to get the pipe hooked to the adapter and keep all together. I need space...
    Upstairs, working in bedrooms from attic is very easy.

    I have installed a provisional temperature reading in real time of my system.
    I have experienced cold air I could say chill in the morning, i had to power off the unit.
    Not sure what I've done wrong, so far, yet...
    I have few "Saturday hours" free tomorrow.

    Have fun.

    365760.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    And the initial temperature readings, after I've learned how to disable the "summer by-pass" are very hot....


    366129.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭ randombar


    Bringing up an old one but how are you finding it? Electricity bills high? How was the air tightness after?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    GaryCocs wrote: »
    Bringing up an old one but how are you finding it? Electricity bills high? How was the air tightness after?

    Hi Gary,

    System works great.
    Fresh air constant but was summer and sometimes, we opened windows as well. Night time,we setup the summer stand-by and closed the window.
    Same temperature in every room,in every corner of the house.

    Electricity...well i guess you know that with renewables we OWNERS do not make any of the money back,but only manufacturer / supplier / distributor / taxman and not lasty,the rip off installer.

    Air tight not yet ready as im still working on the house insulation in the attic.

    Anyway,i've ben forced to do it,i do not regret it,is a well done system for the health of the house,not lastly for yourself.

    Good luck.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Just managed to replace the unit's filters,first time....

    397781.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Frosty365


    Hey Rolion,

    Quick couple of questions for you, if that's OK -
    First off congrats on doing it yourself, I now know how much fun it is!!
    I am nearly complete a renovation project on my own house and I also went down the route of putting in HRV system myself - I am currently ready to get the unit itself as the last week or so has become very humid in the house and am waking up to heavily condensated windows and am trying to decide on which unit to purchase, its between the vent axia kenetic plus and the vents vut 350. So just wanted to know how you have found the Vents unit - do you use the pre-heater? Do you use the purge timer? and I guess just your views on the controls in general, also the 10 meter cable that came with the unit was that just a standard cat5 cable or something one off, as I have a cat5 ran from the attic where the unit will go down to the hot press, hoping that i could put the controller in there or at least a boost button.

    Any info would be appreciated.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Hi Frosty,

    Congrats in taking the challenge and not lastly...completing it !!!

    I had to install the unit becouse of the house been insulating,another DIY enjoying project.
    I had windows as per this photo here:

    398514.jpg


    After this time,i found it very efficient,very quiet and nothing to complain so far.
    It was one of the best,top of the range at the time! Not sure,but it may still be at the top...

    What i love so far:
    -controls are lovely,big display with the information in one screen (i'm a control maniac with access to all items/functions in the home)
    -timer,is an amazing function,to be able to setup different fan speeds at various times;
    -very efficient,keeps air at very close temperatures,as per attached photo
    -summer stand-by great,when very warm outside/inside but dont want to open the windows (barking fcuking mad dogs outside)

    What i will like to be on wish list or next upgrade:
    -remote application so that i can see whats going on remotely

    Im working now in upgrading my DIY dashboard,adding an extra 2-4 anemometres sensors offebay and with their LCD screens on the same dashboard.
    It will show me in realtime,speed of the fans,temperature and humidty for each channel,better than the one below here:

    398513.jpg

    The unit comes with a long cable,you can replace it with a CAT5x possible but for me it was long enough.
    I dont have the unit with pre-heater,i dont think we need it here with our weather !? What i found very handy is the summer by-pass.
    Is getting noisy at the level 3,but i install it in attic and used some noise reducing rubber at its feet,i can manage with that.

    Dont use the humidity booster,my home has an overall humidity of about 45-50% (i have wall mounted small weather stations in all rooms).
    Bathroom takes a little bit more to get back to normal,depends on the time spent and the jets speeds but the shower'mirror comes clean in few minutes.

    I have purchased off ebay a digital anemometer.Checked at each fan level speed and found that at level 2,the unit is giving me about 80m/s air flow.
    Not sure how can i manipulate those values or any of the settings,i have to wait until i complete the dashboard and then with the supplied flow restricters to manipulate flow in / out on each room / vent.

    One beauty is that you can select speed of the fans,individually .
    While you can tailor the pressure in the house from positive to negative,i guess is nice to be able to get hot air outside,faster and to allow the cold air,slower,to warm up !


    Not lastly,summer-pass should NOT an option anymore but standard feature on any of the units out there:

    398520.jpg

    I saw recently a leaflet about a Vent Axia that had mobile applications but didnt find anything related to technical parameters of the unit.

    If you live in Dublin,you welcome to see the unit in use.

    Have fun !!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭ mayomaffia


    Has anybody here tried to pipe there extract air from the MHRV to a greenhouse ? It would keep the greenhouse warm for the winter ??


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    mayomaffia wrote: »
    Has anybody here tried to pipe there extract air from the MHRV to a greenhouse ? It would keep the greenhouse warm for the winter ??

    I'm building a greenhouse at the moment but never tought of that ! :)
    I guess the distance from the exhaust manifold to the greenhouse will reduce the thermal energy to almost none !? Also,what type of piping will you need ?
    Let say from an output of 18"C,over a distance of 20m...not sure it will work .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,602 cerastes


    mayomaffia wrote: »
    Has anybody here tried to pipe there extract air from the MHRV to a greenhouse ? It would keep the greenhouse warm for the winter ??

    Sounds interesting, I suppose if the greenhouse was attached to the house and you were constantly outputting any residual heat into it where the heat exchanger was very near its output.
    If your greenhouse windows had low thermal performance, it might not retain much heat?
    If you had to duct or pipe it any distance, you'd have to look at the manufacturers instructions as any losses in the piping might have an effect on the performance of the unit?

    Id consider MHVR myself, but installing the airtight layer I think is critical, without any one element (mainly airtightness/insulation), I dont think you can achieve much benefits if thats actually just leaking out through gaps and as that includes windows and doors, it would be an expensive retrofit. I recently saw something about externally fitting an airtightness layer which seems like a great idea to limit disturbance in a retrofit scenario, ie inside an existing house. Ours is one part of a semi-d, Im not sure how that would work physically where the properties join, theres the agreement of the neighbours, plus there's still the windows and doors aspect.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Not doable...very low temperature output,only 11ish.


    409426.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭ mayomaffia


    rolion wrote: »
    Not doable...very low temperature output,only 11ish.


    409426.jpg

    It would be enough to stop frost forming in a greenhouse in winter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Rebel sparky


    Great thread rolion. Fantastic info and photos. Well done on a successful job. I'm looking at doing the same thing. I'll keep following this thread for tips. Did you put 'in' and 'out' vents in every room?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Great thread rolion. Fantastic info and photos. Well done on a successful job. I'm looking at doing the same thing. I'll keep following this thread for tips. Did you put 'in' and 'out' vents in every room?

    Hi,

    Welcome,i'm sure you will have fun !

    I have installed "in" only in the areas that created a lot of "dirty air" such as bathroom,shower,kitchen,corridor (top and bottom) and one in the area between living and dining room to create some convection.Also, one vent in the hot press area where it takes the warmer than other rooms air and by transfering the high temperature to the external cold air,it increases the value of the cold air coming in (sorry for long blabla but you get it...use it to warm up the air).
    Installed "out" in each bedroom,above the radiator / window and blocked the 1/4 section of th event so that it follows the hot air from the radiator,across the room's ceilling.Then,in living and dning room downstairs.

    I don't have a same room "in" and "out" installed.

    Enjoy it and lots of patience !


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 glenstaldavid


    Hello

    Recently moved in to a new build property. Have found that I am losing temperature in the house, particularly when the external temperature was low. Had initially thought that it was an issue with the underfloor heating system (Panasonic air to water heat pump) but heating company have reviewed everything and no issues.

    However it has become apparent that there seems to be some correlation between the heat loss and the running of the MV/HR system. Installed a Beam C130 system. When the MVHR system is off or on holiday mode I have no temperature loss but the problem becomes more acute when the MV/HR is on regular speed. Heat loss can run to 1 degree in a 24 hour period and worsens in colder external temperatures.

    Representative of installation company felt that there should be no issues with my system as it is 92% efficient and all ducting in the house is properly insulated etc. No airtightness issues in the house as the BER assessor recently did the air tightness test and was happy with results. My strong feeling is that it is an issue with the MV/HR system. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

    Thanks

    David


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Hello

    Recently moved in to a new build property. Have found that I am losing temperature in the house, particularly when the external temperature was low. Had initially thought that it was an issue with the underfloor heating system (Panasonic air to water heat pump) but heating company have reviewed everything and no issues.

    However it has become apparent that there seems to be some correlation between the heat loss and the running of the MV/HR system. Installed a Beam C130 system. When the MVHR system is off or on holiday mode I have no temperature loss but the problem becomes more acute when the MV/HR is on regular speed. Heat loss can run to 1 degree in a 24 hour period and worsens in colder external temperatures.

    Representative of installation company felt that there should be no issues with my system as it is 92% efficient and all ducting in the house is properly insulated etc. No airtightness issues in the house as the BER assessor recently did the air tightness test and was happy with results. My strong feeling is that it is an issue with the MV/HR system. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

    David

    Hi David,

    I'm no by any means an expert but i recall having simillar issues like you describe here when ... i had forgotten the summer by-pass enabled on the unit !
    Can you check,do you know if is enabled or disabled ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 glenstaldavid


    Thanks very much for your reply. Summer By-pass is not currently enabled. Not really sure where to go on this...

    David


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  • Registered Users Posts: 180 ✭✭ vanman99


    Hi, hoping this thread is still active. I have the VUT350, installed about year and a half, up to now perfect, but with the hot weather house is unbearable, i know there is a bypass for summer which I believe is activated but very stuffy clammy house, any suggestions?


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