Transitioning from exhaust-only to balanced ventilation

Balanced ventilation will soon be required under Oregon’s residential building code, which is expected to become mandatory later this year. Builders looking to move away from traditional exhaust-only systems have numerous options to integrate balanced ventilation at varying price points. The EPS New Construction team is here to help you tackle all of the new Oregon code provisions, including balanced ventilation.   

Many builders consider using heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) to achieve balanced ventilation. While HRVs are very effective and energy efficient, they remain one of the more costly options for meeting requirements. Luckily for you, there are several smart alternatives.  

One of the least-cost options is to install an exhaust fan and an intake fan to run at the same time. Since you’re already installing exhaust fans, the initial installation cost is reduced. Other low-cost options include installing spot energy recovery ventilators or blending supply air with exhaust.   

How to incorporate balanced ventilation in your next development:  

  1. Early in the design process, ask your HVAC contractor about different configurations to achieve balanced ventilation and meet future code requirements.  
  2. Host an early design assistance meeting with your HVAC contractor, verifier, EPS staff, and other trade ally contractors to walk through the different options and coordinate your approach to balanced ventilation.     
  3. Regroup with your HVAC contractor after the meeting to make sure their installation team has experience with your desired design approach. Energy Trust is available to provide subcontractor training for teams that would like additional support.  

Energy Trust is ready to help you make the switch to balanced ventilation. Contact us to explore different balanced ventilation options and find the right fit for your construction style.