Cost of HRV System Installation – recuperative ventilation (HRV) is an original resource-saving solution for microclimate control based on partial energy recovery of exhaust air masses. Qualified HRV system installation is generously rewarded by lower electricity bills – the heat exchange between supply and exhaust air covers up to 60-70% of energy consumption for home heating. Take care of yourself and the world around you – order the design and installation of an HRV system from Best Heating Cooling & Air to live in harmony with nature and not overpay!
How much does HRV usually cost?
Prices for recuperation units vary widely – from 400 to 1500 $, depending on the quality, brand and configuration; to make it easier to get acquainted with the prices, the HRV systems are divided into three price categories. The basic set of equipment with consumables costs from 960 to 1480 $, middle-class systems – 1585-1800 $; premium systems – 2000-2112 $; a contractor will announce the exact amount to you.
How much does it cost to install a HRV?
The cost of recuperation ventilation depends on the volume and complexity of works: the more complex the system, the more you have to pay for installation: from 150 to 250 $ in the budget segment, in the middle price range – 260-370 $, in the premium segment – 480-500 $. On average, installing a HRV system, including installers’ salaries, costs from 1,300 to 2,400 $, but keep in mind that contractors’ rates may vary from region to region.
What factors affect the price of HRV
In addition to the price class, the heat recovery ventilator installation cost is affected by the volume and complexity of works, which, in turn, depends on the characteristics of an object and the state of communications. Additionally, the amount of costs is influenced by a variety of factors – size, brand and design of ventilators, number of consumables, type and performance of the system, etc.; for a start, let’s consider the key factors that determine the price of a recuperation unit.
1. Size and number of rooms
For local conditioning of isolated rooms with problematic microclimate, such as bathrooms, laundries and workshops, inexpensive compact recuperators are used, and which are installed in a window or on a wall. At arrangement of the central recuperation systems, the more powerful and expensive installations distributing air on rooms by means of air ducts, are used. The layout and design of the interior also make allowances to the project budget – the more architectural refinements, the more complex the configuration of a pipeline and the higher the cost of installation.
2. Current air ducts
The central HRV systems are most often installed in new buildings; the pipelines are usually laid in basements before finishing; in buildings with a ready-made air duct system, the installation is much cheaper. But if a pipeline is faulty, the reconstruction of communications will require a substantial investment, but badly worn air ducts, which have served for more than 15 years, will have to be replaced anyway, so you should take the opportunity of modernization.
3. Size of heat recuperation ventilators
The recuperators are released in different standard sizes; the higher the power, the more expensive and massive the device; the unit power is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The size of a unit is selected depending on the dimensions of a room, the initial air quality and the number of occupants.
4. Other factors
In addition to the key factors, the cost of HRV units is influenced by other ones – area of air-conditioned rooms, make and model of a recuperator, design and energy efficiency of the system, amount of labor and consumables. Taking into consideration all the nuances that determine the cost of a HRV unit, the cost of installing an economy class system ranges from 1420 $ for economy class systems to 2544 $ for premium segment recuperators.
Even such a trifle as the location of an oven in a house can add to your costs or reduce the total amount; to consider all the nuances and not make mistakes when selecting equipment, you should entrust the calculation of recuperative ventilation to BHC & Air engineers – the top specialists. When developing a project, your individual wishes and needs will be considered, a unit will operate with maximum efficiency, without bothering you with whims.
Difference between HRV and ERV
HRV technology should not be confused with energy recuperation (ERV), in which there is exchange not only of heat but also water vapor between the exhaust and fresh air. ERV installation is cheaper than HRV; the cost of installation is about 500-1700 $; the control is made through a timer or a humidity sensor.
The main advantage of ERV systems is the prevention of temperature and humidity fluctuations, which facilitates the microclimate control in hot and rainy weather. Generally, ERVs are considered more efficient, but their air heating is worse than in HRV systems, which have proven themselves in regions with long severe winters.
Does a heat recuperation ventilator compensate itself?
The initial investment in a HRV system looks impressive, but the costs are compensated by low energy consumption: the power of the ventilators rarely exceeds 50-100 watts; sometimes, there are units with ventilators of 300 Watts. The reconstruction of ducts increases the cost to install a HRV system, but the operating costs are in any case lower than with standard HVAC systems. The installation of a recuperator is particularly effective at high electricity tariffs – each British Thermal Unit (BTU) produced by recuperation replaces three BTUs obtained by burning of natural gas.
The recuperators work best in airtight buildings with high-quality thermal insulation, and when using HRV systems, the air exchange between a room and environment is not disturbed. Heat leaks are not always felt, so before installing a recuperator, it is recommended to inspect a house to promptly eliminate defects in the insulation of roof and walls.
The recuperation improves the microclimate in a room – it prevents dampness, mold growth and accumulation of dust in corners, cleans the air of volatile pollutants – radon, formaldehyde, phenols and other toxic substances. Before installing a recuperation system, please check the air quality to select the appropriate equipment and achieve the maximum effect. Profile organizations are engaged in air testing; a contractor must have a license and permission to perform this type of works, otherwise the test results may be inaccurate.
Why HRV may not be right for you?
The recuperation does not justify itself in temperate climates – during summer, to maintain thermal comfort, a regular hood will do, and in winter, the difference between indoor and outdoor air temperature does not provide heat accumulation in the right amount. The low quality of thermal insulation reduces the performance of HRV systems: not the entire volume of air flow passes through a heat exchanger, so too little heat is returned to the system.
How to care for a recuperator?
HRV systems are simple and easy to maintain; in theory, the installation is able to operate non-stop all year round without overheating and excessive wear. A recuperator should only be switched off when the doors and windows remain open for a long time – due to large heat losses, the recuperation loses its meaning. Scheduled maintenance extends system life and prevents malfunctions; to ensure that the equipment works without interruptions, you should perform service maintenance in a timely manner:
- Change the air filters regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Accumulations of dirt create obstacles in the circulation of air masses and reduce the efficiency of ventilation.
- Monitor a hood and air ducts. Periodically wipe the ventilation grilles of dirt and prevent clogging of the exhaust ducts.
- Keep the heat exchanger clean: first, remove fine debris with a vacuum cleaner, and then rinse with warm soapy water.
If you do not have enough time or skills for HRV technical support, do not leave the system to chance – the optimized customer service schemes from BHC&Air are at your service. Our specialists will develop an individual maintenance plan for the installation, with the consideration of the specifics of a brand and operating conditions – only the necessary services at a democratic price!
Does HRV really operate?
Like any man-made creation, recuperators do not have one hundred percent efficiency rate – for the cost of installing HRV system to pay off in full, an average productivity of about 70-80% is enough; the efficiency of premium equipment reaches 96%. In addition, the recuperation technology has its limitations – in the warm season, the humidity control function may not be available.
It is possible to reduce humidity of inflow air masses at recuperation only at a big difference of temperatures outside and inside a house. In premises with high humidity, it is not advisable to use recuperators with paper plates; you should give priority to systems with aluminum or plastic heat exchangers.
Should I use HRV in winter?
In winter, HRV systems perform best, but in severe frosts, the heat exchanger resources may not be enough; to prevent the condensers from freezing, the supply air must be heated. In case of short-term cooling, it is possible to install an additional electric heat exchanger, but to use electric heating at long frosts is unprofitable – the gas ovens are more economic.
Plate heat exchangers are designed for temperatures up to 23…-19.5 °F, for cold regions, units with rotary heat exchangers that can withstand frosts up to -4…-13 °F, are suitable. However, the rotary designs have disadvantages – part of the exhaust air enters the inflow, so the recuperators are equipped with purge devices that reduce the system performance.
It is essential to adjust the humidity settings correctly to prevent the windows from freezing; however, it is not always possible to protect the glass from fogging. Experience shows that in the cold season, it is best to set the relative humidity at 30%; if the windows still freeze, please consult a professional adjuster.
How to reduce the recuperation system cost
Installing a recuperation system will cost 20-30% cheaper than the average cost, if you rationally dispose of funds and do not succumb to the tricks of marketers. Here are some life hacks that will help you to optimize your costs, find profitable offers and protect your interests in a deal with a contractor:
- before drawing up a contractor agreement, get at least three estimates of the cost of a project from different companies;
- participate in federal and municipal reimbursement programs for the introduction of resource-saving technologies;
- track the promotions of air conditioning salons and do not hesitate to ask for a discount;
- ask for an engineering justification for a cost sheet to avoid hidden surcharges;
- plan repairs in late fall or early winter, when most contractors low prices due to declining demands.
Expenditure planning helps to control costs, but it is impossible to consider all the circumstances, so you should put in the budget an additional 7-15% of the estimated cost of a system in case of unforeseen expenses. BHC&Air offers the best prices for the design and installation of HRV in Colorado – thanks to a partnership agreement with Xcel Energy, we have established preferential deliveries of licensed equipment and provide a guarantee for all types of services.
Leave an application on the website, and we will discuss the options for installing a recuperator, select the optimal installation scheme and consider ways to reduce the cost of the project. You will be satisfied with the balance of price, quality and aesthetics – a HRV system will organically fit into the interior and family style!