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Thermostats, Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality, IAQs

Are You Ready?
by Gary Klena

Now is a good time to ask your self that question. Depending as to where you are the weather could be a little more extreme than in other parts of the country. Regular maintenance of your Venmar/vanEE is important no matter where you may be, and since the HRV or ERV was made to allow for easy owner regular service to keep your unit running at its peak efficiency we thought we would pass along some helpful reminders.

Whether you bought your Venmar/vanEE through us here at Thermal Associates, your contractor or another dealer we want to remind you that we stock a long list of filters and other parts for your Venmar Ventilation system. So let’s take a look at some of the things that should be on your to-do list year round to keep your system and your home healthy.

***Always unplug your unit before sticking your hands inside it!***

Filters – Checking your filters should be a regular event for you. If you have a main control that helps remind you that’s good. If you don’t then we may, depending on your model, suggest one that does. The #03308 foam filters are inexpensive enough that you might consider keeping another set on hand. Properly cleaned and handled, they do last a long time, but over time they also start to deteriorate and lose their efficiency. Other models have similar washable filters, but the above applies to them as well.

Optional filters such as the pleated, charcoal and electronic fiber can not be washed, only replaced.

Core/Thermal Wheel – If you have an HRV you have the core to maintain. If it’s an ERV, then you have a thermal wheel to maintain.

 A core can be removed, soaked in a mixture of cold or lukewarm water and mild soap. Rinse completely, shake to remove excess water and let dry.

 If it’s a thermal wheel you cannot wash it! Simply disconnect the wires, remove the wheel, and use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove the dust.

 ***Follow your user manual for the cleaning of the fan wheels.***

Cabinet – While you are in the cabinet it’s a good time to give that good cleaning too. Just take a damp cloth and wipe out any debris that may have collected along with wiping down the sides. If you have a condensate drain make sure that the hole is not blocked.

Fresh Air Damper – Before you close up the cabinet check to make sure your fresh air damper is working correctly. You should have heard the motor that operates it when you opened the door or unplugged the unit. If not, you had better investigate further.

Condensate Line – For an HRV unit it’s important that this is clear and unobstructed so it can do what it does. What it does is take the melted ice that is created during the defrost cycle from the bottom of the cabinet out to the drain point that was set up for it during the installation.

Exterior Vents – Pick a nice day to spend a few minutes outside to check the exterior hoods. They should be clear of any thing that could cause your unit not to have good intake of fresh air and exhausting of the structure stale air. A variety of goodies could cause you problems such as leaves, needles, dust, pollen, etc. I had better warn you that even kids could find it interesting that the fresh air intake could act like a magnet for all kinds of air blocking items. (Beware of the teacher that calls you to find out what ‘The Venmar took my homework’ means.)

Balancing – Your unit should have been balanced at time of installation. Normally the balance is good for a long time, but some factors could have changed your balance. The balancing dampers should have been secured at time of installation and balancing. Check to see if they have become unsecured. Another way your balance could have changed is if there has been construction in the structure since installation.

When the days and nights turn to that bone chilling dry, cold weather you may want to limit the run time of a HRV. Otherwise you may dry your home out too much. Using the intermittent exchange setting, if your control has that, or reducing the amount of time the unit exchanges air may help keep the humidity level more comfortable for you.

Should you have any questions about making sure you ‘are ready’ feel free to contact us at

Thermostats, Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality, IAQs