Is an HRV or ERV system best in a cold climate?
We're getting ready to build "as near as possible to Passive House spec without it costing a dime extra overall" house next year in Northern Minnesota as we will then be fitting PV solar panels to bring it to zero net energy once we fully assessed the true energy requirements over a year or two. As the house location is off-grid in the North Woods area, it's not a case of slapping as much PV on as possible and feeding the excess into the grid for a credit - everything has to be engineered to be finite to our needs and with little room for error.
As the climate has a huge swing in temperature (60 degrees F) this also alters the humidity levels - which also change around a fair amount based on wind direction, temperature and how close we are to the lakes. So - this is where my question comes from - with all these factors and trying to keep the electricity load to a minimum because we will be generating our own power and not buying it, would you recommend we choose an HRV or ERV unit for our cold / hot climate?
How do you recommend we size the HRV or ERV? Which brands do you have experience of/ would you recommend (bearing in mind efficiency and power consumption)? To be clear, we aren't building a "Cabin in the Woods" like back in the day - this will be our 3000 sq.ft. main family home residence.
That’s wise thinking to lower energy consumption as much as possible anywhere you can to avoid having to spend too much on solar panels. Passive House standards are sometimes overkill in certain climates, but certainly not for an off grid house in the woods of Minnesota. So for finding the best HRV or ERV is, first I would point you to this page we already have –
Choosing between an HRV and ERV
That should probably answer your questions, and you can’t really go too wrong with either so long as it is a high efficiency one.
While you’re at it we do have a few other pages that will probably be of value to you, for one thing I would say that heating an off grid house is one of the biggest challenges, especially if as you say you aren’t looking to build a cabin in the woods, but rather a large comfortable home. Here are a few pages that may help you along the way