Installing the ERV

The ERV got delivered to our doorstep and I spent an afternoon inspecting it and reading through the manual and instructions. Because this is the first time for me, I wanted to make sure I had everything lined up correctly.

I learned that before I got to the ERV itself, I should run three low voltage cables through the apartment for the three ERV controls. Once the cables were in pace I could focus on the ERV installation.

I needed to position the unit in a way that allowed for easy maintenance access, i.e. getting to and cleaning the filters every now and then. The access to the filters is on the top, which means that I had to place the ERV low enough to get to the top lid.

I did not want to hang the ERV on the wall because I was concerned that the vibration of the unit would transfer through the framing and make too much noise. Instead I put together a small table that sits on the concrete floor.

I got my connections, sealed them with duct mastic and attached them to the ERV. For the connection to the duct work, I used short pieces of insulated flex duct, as per the recommendations in the installation guidelines.

The pieces of flex duct prevent the vibration transmission from the ERV to the duct work, which significantly cuts down on any noise transmission.

With the ERV connected I can turn to the installation of the three controls. There is the master switch, which we placed in the kitchen, right next to the bathroom door.


The dial turns the ERV on and controls the amount of airflow (from 70 to 210 cfm). The little red LED comes on when the filters need servicing and cleaning.

On the other side of the wall, in the bathroom, is the timer switch, which can be set to 20, 40 or 60 minutes when the bathroom is used.


The timer switch overrides the master switch and sets the ERV to booster mode (i.e. 210 cfm).

The third and last control we have is the humidistat which is located in the living space right above the thermostat. The point of the humidistat is to control the indoor moisture level.


If the humidistat is set to 60% relative humidity, and if the indoor humidity exceeds the 60%, the ERV is set to booster mode and runs at 210 cfm until the humidity drops below the set 60%. Like the timer switch, the humidistat overrides the master switch.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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