+ What size Zehnder unit do I need for my home?

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+ What’s the difference between an HRV or an ERV?

Both the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) and the ERV (Enthalpy Recovery Ventilator) provide continuous ventilation needed in today’s airtight homes. HRVs utilize a heat-exchanger core that captures the heat from outgoing stale air and applies it to incoming fresh air. The ERV core is made from advanced materials that allow not only heat but also moisture from outgoing air to diffuse into the fresh incoming air. This is especially important in cold climates when the ambient outside air temperature is below freezing and the relative humidity is at or near zero.

+ Is the ducting UL listed?

The ComfoTube ducting is not UL listed, however the ComfoFlex ducting is. Be sure to check in with local building code to see what is required in your area.

+ What are the electrical requirements?

All of the Zehnder HRV’s require a 208/230 V, 50-60Hz connection with a dedicated 15-amp breaker.

+ Do I need to insulate my exterior duct runs?

Yes, your exterior duct runs must be insulated with an air permeable to R5 or better to prevent cold intake air from causing condensation to form on the duct. We recommend Zehnder’s ComfoPipe, which is already insulated, airtight and very simple to install.

+ How do I balance the system after installation?

In order to qualify for Zehnder’s warranty, you’ll need to have your system commissioned by a certified commissioner. You can start the process by submitting your request on Zehnder’s website and completing their pre-commissioning checklist, after which a representative from Small Planet Supply will reach out regarding payment and scheduling. You can find Zehnder’s webpage here.

+ What is summer bypass and how does it work?

During summer nights and in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall with strong sunshine, the house can become too warm, while the outside temperature remains pleasantly cool. In such cases, heat removal by what is known as “free cooling” helps: the Zehnder ComfoAir units are equipped with a standard automatic bypass for just this purpose, and diverts 100% of the relatively warm extract air from the heat exchanger, introducing cool supply air to the space.

+ If I install a Zehnder, do I need to have bathroom and laundry rooms fans, a kitchen range hood, etc.?

If return diffusers are installed in the bathrooms or laundry rooms, you will not need an extract air fan as the HRV will effectively replace them. A kitchen range hood will still be required, however except in Passive House designs by a certified Passive House Consultant.

+ Do I need a condensate drain for my Zehnder?

You will need a condensate drain, which Zehnder provides in the form of a waterless p-trap, which will need to be connected to the home’s drainage/sewer system as per code. This is required for all HRV systems. The ERV systems do not require a condensate drain as they recirculate the moisture that passes through them.

+ What kind of maintenance is required for these HRVs?

Maintenance of the Zehnder HRV’s is limited to periodic cleaning or replacement of the filters accessible from the front of the unit. The exchanger core should be inspected and cleaned annually (depending on the outside air quality). Please see the unit manual for additional servicing tasks.

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