​A heat recovery ventilator, what most folks refer to as an “air exchanger,” changes out the air inside a home so the inside air doesn’t become stale. Since newer construction is so tightly sealed, mechanical air exchangers have replaced the age-old “leaky windows” as a source of fresh air.

Because air exchangers operate at a whisper-quiet level and are tucked away in the mechanical room, they are often overlooked by homeowners and can eventually degrade into a serious maintenance issue.

The easiest way to stay on top of your routine air exchanger maintenance is to clean your air exchanger filters at the same time you change your furnace filter – once every three months.

Before I go any further, I want to note that it’s VERY important that you always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance of your air exchanger (or any other mechanical device in your home, for that matter!). There are many different styles of air exchangers, with different placements of filters and recommendations for how to clean those filters.

At the same time you clean the filters, check for dust build-up on the core (the diamond shaped white box in the video). There are often directions printed on the core itself that outline if and how often the core should be serviced as well.

The motors inside air exchangers must also be inspected every so often to ensure they are operating smoothly. The motor is the one area that should always be serviced by an HVAC professional – so all you want to do for your routine inspection is ensure that it looks and sounds like it’s running the same as the last time you looked at it.

In the video below we outline a serious problem with the motor in this particular air exchanger – the solenoid appears to have suffered a catastrophic failure and has become a fire hazard.

If you think there are any problems with your air exchanger, again – contact an HVAC professional. 

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J. Krentz Design

Author J. Krentz Design

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