April’s theme seems to be, Get It While It’s On Sale. Yesterday it was insulating window panels. Today it’s a ventilation system that might be perfect for retrofitting into an existing home.
Effective ventilation is a necessity in all homes. I’ll ignore the fact that most homes don’t have anything like that, and just point out that you have to plan for a ventilation system when you undertake your zero energy project. The best ventilation systems: ones that supply fresh air to the right places, while extracting stale air out of some other right places, usually involve ductwork to move air around the house. In an existing home installing ductwork is either destructive and messy, or just impossible.
These ducted ventilation systems are referred to as HRV’s (heat recovery ventilators; or ERV’s: energy recovery ventilators). A very unique ventilation system does the same thing as an HRV, but without the ductwork. Billed as a decentralised ventilation system, the Lunos e2 puts a small fan in each of several holes around the house, and coordinates these fans to work in tandem, supplying and extracting air alternately. Each fan has a ceramic core that stores energy from exiting air, and later puts that energy back into the supply air when the fan reverses. With very low energy use and very high heat recovery the Lunos rings all my bells.
You still have to run low voltage wire to the DC fans, but compared to installing ductwork all over the house, the Lunos e2 is a dream to install. And the sale… Well, the price has come down a few hundred bucks. Not sure if that’s a sale or a plain old price reduction. Spendy as they are, the price break makes the Lunos e2 a more realistic option for the affordable Zero Energy Home.