CCHRC researchers are testing an integrated heating and ventilation system that warms up ventilation air without running up electric bills. The system adds an in-line, sealed-combustion diesel heater to the HRV supply air and will be installed and monitored at a CCHRC prototype house in Anaktuvuk Pass this winter.
Electric resistance heaters are often added to HRVs for the same purpose: to warm up outside air before blowing it into your home. But depending on your source of electricity, this can be inefficient and expensive. In rural Alaska, for example, electricity is generated by burning diesel and costs up to 80 cents a kilowatt-hour. The diesel heater burns fuel oil directly, which is much more efficient than converting diesel into electrical power and transmitting it to your home.
The small truck heater burns fuel oil and can produce more than 17,000 BTUs per hour, more than enough to heat ventilation air on even the coldest day in the prototype house. The system uses a microcomputer with an electronically commutated motor that controls both the amount of fuel used and the blower speed.
Once installed, CCHRC will study the fuel consumption and power consumption of the system and see how it affects indoor CO2 and humidity levels.