by • December 19, 2012 • ReviewsComments (5)3238

Panasonic’s Bargain ERV Review FV-04VE1

 I’ve been building “Tight” houses for about 8 years now, but in the last two years I’ve really been motivated to build super tight homes (see my JLC article on Air Sealing).  Build Tight Ventilate Right is our motto.  The only way to control indoor air quality/humidity/temperature is by avoiding unintended air leakage.  I want my houses to be a Yeti Cooler; tight, super insulated, and hold their temperature for a long time.

  Along that vein it’s very important to bring fresh air into our tight houses using a measured approach. But, in our hot/humid climate there is an energy penalty for this fresh air because it’s typically hotter than indoor air temperature and much of the year it brings in additional humidity. In this video I’ll review a budget priced Energy Recovery Ventilator that does a pretty good job of rejecting some of the humidity (Energy) that comes into the Fresh Air system. This Panasonic ERV removes about 1/3rd of the moisture from the incoming air.

Please consider supporting me by purchasing your Panasonic ERV through Amazon.  I’m an affiliate with Amazon and when you buy through that link you’ll get the same price but I’ll get a small percentage of your purchase.   Thanks!

-Matt Risinger
Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

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  • Hi Matt-

    I’ve been checking thru some of your blog articles and like what I see about how you are applying BSC principles with good old fashion craftsmanship. Right up my alley. In fact I just completed a Deep Energy, Whole House Renovation project where I installed one of these Panasonic ERV’s. I like the all-in-one compact design but I am not real happy with the noise level I am getting from the unit. Even at 0.81 scones…the unit seems much louder then that. I am wondering if my real issue is the tightness of the house….2.53 ACH….and therefore internal noises are almost amplified. The house is not yet outfitted with furniture and area rugs etc….perhaps this will ultimately help?? What is your experience with this noise situation? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Jon Scholl
    Dovetail Group LLC

    • Jon, Where is your unit located? I generally try to put mine in some out of the way hall or inside a mechanical closet. I’ve not thought they were too loud, but if it were in an occupied space I could see that being an issue. The tightness could be a contributor too. You might verify that the ducts are kinked, i believe the fan motor will speed up to maintain the stated airflow. Did you you flex or rigid duct? Is that accessible? If so you might try using a 5″ or 6″ rigid duct instead of flexible 4″ ducting. Best, Matt

  • Ricard Torres

    Hi Matt, I have a 3100 home in Western Massachusetts, so humidity is a factor, Also I have a Mitsubishi 30000 and a 12000 Hyperheat Mini splits in a super tight house (also NetZero with 12Kwh PV array) I’m wondering if this unit will be sufficient to run one of these FV-04VE1 in the 40CFM position, assuming that for a 3100, 2 floors with 8′ ceilings, roughly a 24,800 CF. Divide by 40 = 620 minutes. Divide by 60 and that is 10 hours and 20 minutes for one complete exchange of air. In you super expert opinion, is that a good exchange rate for a home with 2 adults and 2 kids? if you say yes, I’m ready to click on the Amazon link you’ve provided! Thanks and thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Ricard, I’d say generally YES, but with some assumptions. #1 that you have a house that off gasses little. #2 that you have good filtration of your existing air. Do you have a media air cleaner in the house? If yes to both then yes that works. Matt

      • Ricard Torres

        Hi Matt, thank you for your response, I can’t thank you enough for all the recommendations, I have been following you on Youtube for a while and taken into account your professional opinion every time we upgrade and improve our home!

        Our house was built in 1986 and is well insulated (well beyond code according to our contractor). When they did the energy assessment of our home, it had very low infiltration credit, before and after over insulating the attic with Thermocell (Weathershield).

        As for gasses,we have no particle board furniture!, all finish (oak flooring and Mahogany wood doors and trims, done in1986) and fresh paint has been cured for at least 4 years (since we bought the house and decided to remove the hideous 80’s wall paper) so no VOC there, we also use natural sourced cleaners and cook little with Teflon pans, mainly stainless and high carbon steel pots and pans.

        When the house is completely closed up during the Summer we get up to a 1100ppm of CO2 mainly from the propane stove pilots and 4 humans living in it :). We never had CO issues in our house, sensors are working fine (and have redundant Nest in some key locations) The filtration system for the house is part of the Furnace, we use the 3M Filtrette 1500 Ultra and replace them regularly. We will be heating the house with the Mitsubishi mini splits (recently installed) and occasionally with suplemental Vermont Castings wood Stove (Vigilant). That said if we are not planning to use the whole house heating oil furnace, the filtration system will not be in use.

        The house also have a whole house fan at the top of the foyer that vents into the attic during the summer and it recirculates the hot air into the furnace ductwork during the winter (the previous owner was an old engineer with some ideas ahead of its time).

        In the summer time, when we get to a 1000ppm CO2 in the house I open a couple windows on both floors and run either the attic fan or the Thermador kitchen blower (940 cfm) and clear the house within 10-15 minutes of running it and get down to 320ppm CO2. It is fine when the temperature is reasonable and with low humidity, but I’m concerned about the winter with low humidity and below zero temps. I made a few calculations and we could cut the area of the house to 2114 SqF (one wing of the house (office and playroom can be closed off and have independent Propane and wood heating, Mitsubishi cooling and filtering) so the real SQF of active living space number goes down to 2114!

        sorry for the rant! thanks again!