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7 Tips for Installing Your New Fresh Air Appliance

Fantech’s ventilation experts break down how fresh air appliances work and how to install them in your next project.

 

Homeowners are willing to pay a premium for improved indoor air quality, but oftentimes the contractors responsible for designing a home’s ventilation system overlook one of the most effective solutions: HRV and ERV fresh air appliances.

For contractors new to HRVs and ERVs, confusion over what these fresh air appliances do and how to install them is the key reason they are overlooked. However, these appliances are designed specifically for simple installation and efficient ventilation.

To clear the air, Fantech’s ventilation experts are breaking down how fresh air appliances work and how to install them in your next project. 

What is a Fresh Air Appliance?

Fresh air appliances refer to heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). These appliances act as the lungs of the home, ensuring air is clean and healthy.

So, how do they do it? The HRV or ERV pulls fresh outdoor air into the home while simultaneously pushing out stale, contaminated air – something of particular importance for those with asthma or allergies. Unlike traditional methods such as opening a window, however, a fresh air appliance also tempers the air for improved comfort.

How Fantech's HERO ERV/HRVs work

Fantech’s HERO series of HRVs provides 80% sensible recovery, meaning that if there is a 50-degree difference between the outside air and inside air temperature, the HRV can heat incoming air up to 40 degrees to close the gap in temperature.

Overall, fresh air appliances provide homeowners the healthy air quality they desire without compromising comfort or efficiency.

How to Easily Install Your HERO Fresh Air Appliance

Before installing your new fresh air appliance, you’ll need to determine which type of system is right for your application. Fresh air appliances can be used in:

  • Fully dedicated systems:  Pulls air from anywhere in the home with polluted air to distribute air to livings spaces such as living rooms and bedrooms.
  • Partially dedicated systems: Air is distributed throughout the home using a forced air or heat pump with ducts. The fresh air appliance uses that ductwork to move air, but still pulls out polluted air from the home.
  • Simplified install: Air is supplied from the return line of furnace or heat pump and return.

7 Steps to Healthier Air

The HERO series of fresh air appliances was designed with contractors in mind. When speaking to installers, the same frustrations with HRVs and ERVs were consistently mentioned – poor efficiency, complex installation, cumbersome maintenance and noisy operation, to name a few.   

To address these issues, we streamlined the design and installation process with the HERO. Now, contractors only have to go through seven simple steps:

  1. Select the appropriate size – The appropriate size is based on the size of house, number of rooms, and local codes and standards. Generally, refer to ASHRAE 62.2 when determining the appropriate size.
  2. Install the outdoor vents – Cut a hole between wall studs, insert the vent and secure it with the proper screw. Then, seal the area using outdoor-rated caulking, and attach the insulated duct from inside and secure with tape. 
  3. Screw speed bracket to the wall – If mounting is not an option, use a chain kit to hang the unit. A standard chain kit includes hanging chains, screws, spring and hooks and is sold separately.
  4. Hang or mount the unit
  5. Make duct connections – If working with a flexible duct, slide the ducting onto the duct connection and affix with cable tie. If using solid ducting, slide duct over duct connection, screw in place and seal. The HERO includes labels with imagery to easily show where ducts connect.
  6. Make wire connections – Simply pull the quick connect and plug in the unit.
  7. Install the drain hose – Install the drain hose making a “P” trap, secure the condensate line drain to the appliance, then fill the condensate line with water.

Bonus: See how to properly balance your HERO appliance 

HRV and ERV Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting Performance

Once your HERO fresh air appliance is installed, there is little maintenance required to keep the unit running efficiently. 

Every three months, pull out the filters and properly vacuum then wash them. Every six to eight months, pull out the core and soak it in water before putting it back into the unit. Watch our ventilation experts demonstrate these steps to see how simple it is. 

For more in-depth installation instructions, view the HERO installation manual.

About Our Ventilation Experts

Bruno Poitras, Fantech North American Product Manager – IAQ

Bruno Poitras has worked at Fantech for over six years, serving three years as IAQ Product Manager. At Fantech, Bruno is actively involved in product development, regularly speaking with installers to ensure Fantech’s products provide effective solutions to overcome common challenges.


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Fantech makes air quality control easy thanks to decades of research, development, and refinement that continue to push the industry forward. Learn which Fantech solution is the best fit in your next project today.