When it comes to comfortable, healthy Indoor Air Quality, reliable HVAC solutions must compensate for increasingly tight building envelopes. The trend toward tighter envelopes is, no doubt, an important one. They are a must for keeping out moisture, condensation, and soil gases (i.e. radon) as well as reducing heat and air conditioning costs. However, a supply of fresh air coming into a space is vital if you, quite simply, want occupants to breathe. Further, you want them breathing healthy air. The tighter the envelope, the less fresh air makes it into the building naturally. Consequently, we need to compensate for those tight envelopes, or accept poor IAQ made up of pollutant levels that can be higher than anything inhaled outdoors. So the motto is, ‘out with the bad air, in with the good’ via proper ventilation. However, not all ventilation is created equal, and some of it is downright sloppy.
Dilution Ventilation: When an HVAC system disburses fresh outdoor air into a room without a real strategy, the good air mixes with the bad and simply dilutes it. Eventually, all the air in a room is exchanged, but the goal is to push out, not just ‘water down’ pollutants to acceptable IAQ levels. BPE, Inc. considers this tactic the equivalent of throwing fresh air in a room and hoping for the best.
Displacement Ventilation: When fresh air enters a building at one point and pushes the stale air out the other side, effectively replacing it with fresh air, this is displacement. At BPE, we prefer a displacement strategy comprised of good ventilation design and powered by an ERV to keep air moving. We call it BPE ‘Clean Displacement’. Imagine a shelf full of books. If we continuously push new books onto the left side of the shelf until each book to the right of it has fallen off the opposite side, we end up a whole new set of books in short order. It’s a simple, ‘clean sweep’, systematic approach, and this is the efficiency you get when you intentionally design a ventilation system to displace, rather than dilute, the air in a space with fresh air.
With 75% of today’s building stock at least 20 to 30 years old, the ventilation systems (i.e. ductwork, intakes, and exhaust ports) in many spaces exchange air based on old floor plans and ventilation designs that didn’t have displacement in mind. Most were inefficient from day one, others have been modified over the years and no longer function as planned. Using a BPE ERV to move the air through a ventilation system designed with ‘clean displacement’ in mind can increase the efficiency of your space two to three times, creating optimal IAQ that promotes happier and healthier occupants. The environment benefits, too: BPE’s ERV energy and heat efficiency ratings come in well above the rest of the industry with EER ratings between 30 and 160, satisfying today’s need for ‘clean’ energy.
Given the choice, we believe most people would rather breathe true fresh air as opposed to lower levels of pollution that meet ‘acceptable’ standards. All it takes is a phone call to learn how BPE ‘Clean Displacement’ can optimize your IAQ improvement project. (888) 989-8539