Infloor Hydronic Floor Heating in winter

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Old 01-02-16, 02:52 PM
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Infloor Hydronic Floor Heating in winter

I have a one level home on slab with infloor hydronic heating via a hot water tank run on natural gas. There is 2 zones in the 1080 square foot home and it works great. My question is we have an HRV that we don't run year round (summer is too hot for that) but will turn it on in winter from time to time when the air gets a bit dry or windows show some moisture on them from cooking etc. Is it a good idea to set the HRV at say 40% humidity and just let it run 24/7 during the winter season instead of turning it on when we feel it is needed. The air that comes in isn't cold but coolish so I am assuming this is normal as it gets warmed up slighty in the unit prior to coming in and aids in overall heating costs. Can't seem to wrap my head around how this reduces heating costs but does help for sure with humidity levels.
 
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Old 01-02-16, 05:17 PM
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HRV's, or Heat Recovery Ventilators, pass fresh air and house air through a heat exchange core that uses the warm air that is leaving the house to warm up the cold air coming in. It reduces heating costs because your heating system does not have to heat the cold fresh air from the outside air temp. So if it is 0F degrees outside, and 70F degrees inside, the HRV would warm the air to about 35F.

This should explain it better then I can :
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home.../a149/1275121/
 
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Old 01-02-16, 06:21 PM
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Hi Paul,
My question is, why was the HRV installed? If the house was tested and found to be too tight, then some form of fresh air supply would have been added to ensure the occupants have a sufficient supply of clean air. Operating that HRV in the winter will increase your heating costs, but it will provide better air.

Now, if the HRV was just put in because someone felt it would solve other problems, like dry air (not) or moisture issues (maybe) then operating it 24/7 may not be necessary.

Did it come with the house and were there any reasons for it being there?

Bud
 
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Old 01-03-16, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the great info Tony, will read the link.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 06:03 AM
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When my home and the other 10 or so were built that are about the same size as mine on slab they all had an HRV installed by the builder back in 1999. Not sure if that was required at the time or not. I am not having a major issue with mold or dripping windows but was looking at the overall operation of it mainly for winter use. It may be better to only run as needed as there are only two of us living here.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 07:43 AM
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Many of the requirements placed upon a house are based upon the assumed use, 4 or 5 people living there is a common assumption. So you are correct that 2 people do not have issues at the same level as 4. Plus, back in 99, few homes were being built tight enough to need the mechanical ventilation. However, you mentioned moisture on a window and that is one of the signs of a tighter home, although curtains in front of the window can cause moisture.

On the other hand, low humidity is a sign of a leaky home. But outside temperature and humidity are part of those numbers.

As for running it through winter, or summer for that matter, you should IF your house requires it. So far it doesn't sound like it. I would pick up a couple of RH meters and watch the humidity levels. If they rise above 50% you definitely need either the mechanical ventilation or a more aggressive approach to water use and exhaust fans.

Bud
 
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Old 01-03-16, 11:34 AM
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Good idea about the RH meter will get a couple for each end of the house.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 11:41 AM
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If a meter offers temperature as well as RH, that is better as you need both numbers to compare readings.

Bud
 
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