Author Topic: Ventilation system costing $50/month - solutions?  (Read 1822 times)

Bullseye

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Ventilation system costing $50/month - solutions?
« on: June 04, 2012, 06:42:39 AM »
We live in a newer, tightly sealed house, so one of the first things I did when I moved in was to install an ERV (ventilation system) to keep air fresh.  I'm a big believer that this improves my families health, as indoor air pollution, especially in newer homes, is usually very poor.   I live in a climate (Canada) which dictates the windows being closed for much of the year.

So onto the problem...I've run some tests, and established that the ERV itself, and the furnace fan that is required to run 24/7 to distribute it, costs me $50/month in electricity.  This is half my electric bill!  I have a smart meter and a power cost monitor (both free from utility!) that allow me to track usage on a real time basis, so I'm quite certain of this number. 

I'm trying to think of solutions to reduce this cost.  The biggest impact one would be to change my furnace fan to a DC model, which uses drastically less energy.  This is an expensive change, though, and the payback would be long.  I already try to open windows on both sides of house when temperatures allow, but even in nice daytime temps like right now, the evenings are still cool enough that leaving windows open all night would make house frigid by morning.  Another option is switching fan to run at intervals.

Would appreciate any other ideas or thoughts!

James

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Re: Ventilation system costing $50/month - solutions?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 07:18:53 AM »
I think running the fan for just a few hours per day would be plenty.  Based on the exchange rate of the ERV you should be able to get an idea of how rapidly you are changing the air in the house.  I would probably run it at night for a couple hours and then again some time during the day for an hour or two.

I would also suggest talking to the installer about how much it needs to run and what your options are.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 07:27:31 AM by James »

Bullseye

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Re: Ventilation system costing $50/month - solutions?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 08:01:21 AM »
Thanks. I did a little more research, and I realized that my furnace fan has a 'Circulate' option, which seems to mean that it comes on for 5-10 minutes every 45 minutes or so.  This should be adequate for ventilation. 

Nice to see my power usage down to 100 watts at some points now!  Having a real time meter in the house really does make you more aware of usage.