Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning

Heating & Air Conditioning
Calgary AB T2R 1H3
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HomeStars  >  Heating & Air Conditioning in Calgary  >  Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning  >  HRV(Heat Recovery Ventilator) installation
2 reviews Calgary, AB

HRV(Heat Recovery Ventilator) installation

Short version:

Can be found in google reviews.

Long version:

Initially, I contacted Harmony Heating in December 2022 with the request to install HRV for the 1989 house. Antony came to check the possibility of the installation and provided the quote. He never asked me anything (for example: what I would prefer).
It took me some time to actually get to know all the HRV systems that are out there, but Im glad I did because HRV3-150 TPD, which was recommended to me may be ok, but not for me. The reasons: it is end of the sale, not energy star certified(consumes 74 watts on low speed and 140 Watts on high), and loud.
Point #1 - ask your customer what are the key characteristics that they are looking for. For us - it was energy efficiency and the noise levels.
After reviewing all the models myself, I went with HRV5-270-TPD-ECM. It consumes only 22 watts at low speed and 44 at the highest possible. CFM is also almost x2 as for HRV3-150 meaning that less likely we need to use any speed but low. I also confirmed with Anthony that this model is quieter than HRV3(since they are not publishing the noise numbers anywhere).
Installation: in general was a good experience, but the devil is always in the details.
Point #2 - ask your customer where do you want the units control panel to be. Its not required to ask all technical questions, but opinions about convenience functions should be asked.
After the unit was installed we immediately noticed loud noise in the kid's room in the reverse(cold) air duct. To the point that they can wake up at night and call for you because it's an unpleasant howling sound. For folks with kids - you can understand the stress levels and lack of sleep.
The struggle part:
Anthony was contacted and he came to assess the situation. It was a worm day and I could not reproduce the same level of noise*.
*I know now that if outside is below -3C HRV5-270 (and others) will run in dumper defrost mode multiple times per hour(the number of times depends on the outside temperature). What it means is it will close the intake air from the street and run at the highest possible speed during this time, creating a close loop to defrost the air exchange element. And the noise level will be different(and higher in our case)if intake is closed.
He checked everything and said that "the guys did a great job installing it" and left. I asked if it was possible to replace some parts of the metal duct work(from HRV) with the flexible duct. He said that he will send the guy to do the job.
The Guy(don't want to provide the name on purpose since I believe it was not completely his fault but the managers ) came, brought some weird looking 1m flexible ducts(pics attached), and replaced them.
So noise levels haven't changed much, but we started to get used to it. Until one day. I noticed that the air became stuffed like we don't have any ventilation at all. I checked CO2 readings on our AirVisual device and the numbers were close to 1000ppm, in comparison one week ago the peak numbers were 500-600ppm when I was present in the room. I called Anthony and his suggestion was to increase the fan speed. I was telling him that nothing was changed from our perspective (number of people in the house, running mode, windows/doors closed) but that was his suggestion.
Point #3 Please don't assume that all customers are idlots just because you dont want to spend time figuring out what the real issue is.
At this stage, I had to go and diagnose by myself what was causing the issue. The findings:
1. Did a poor job installing the ductwork from HRV to the house, it was never taped together or screwed together. So, then the Guy came who replaced part of the ductwork with the flexible duct accidentally disconnected the ductwork in the middle.
I agree it is hard to notice this, because of a lot of the connections, but still, he should have noticed something at the time of the change.
2. Used the easy path and instead of doing a new 6 duct they decided to reuse the existing one and swap the intake air with the 5 for the boiler room. Which is ok, but the existing 6 duct for incoming air was not cleaned from debris, since it was hardly accessible and no one cleaned it for ages. So I had to clean it, which is ok only if you dont know that they still charged me for the installation of the new 6 duct. We agreed to not change the price since they were additionally replacing 2x 4 duct outlets. But, I didnt know that they had not cleaned the intake.
3. New ductwork was hovering the power cable and pushing it against the hot water copper pipe. In my case, its a fire hazard since we have Federal Pioneer main panel (which will be replaced soon) and those are known for their breakers that dont trip causing fires. Yes, they may not know that, but in general, its never a good practice to do that.
4. The noise levels could be reduced if stale air intake to the HRV could have been installed further away from the fresh air to the house( per specification it should be > 1 m in our case ~800cm). This one I agree that they didnt know that the place where they decided to install the stale air intake to the HRV was directly connected to the bedrooms. But I see that they chose the easy path again here.
5. I had to redo the unit control panel installation since it was installed in the basement and its not convenient. Also, fix the drywall.
6. The replacement flexible ductwork was riddled with holes(like they picked it up from the garbage can). And was installed simply unprofessionally. Cannot find any explanation here.
Point #4 Most of the time you will have time to make it right, you just need to want to make it right.
It was really hard to get Anthonys attention at all. He could say that he will call back in a bit and he didnt. I had to follow up multiple times via email and the phone. So, at some point, I started wasting more time asking them to fix it in comparison to doing it myself.
What I had to do:
After learning all of the issues, I thought that they should come and fix this, but after Anthony told me it will be the same Guy I politely declined and asked to provide flexible duct in proper length and also metal ductwork pieces, so I could fix connections to the HRV unit, since obviously (to me) it needed to be left like that otherwise it could not be properly air sealed(without using some extra sealing materials).

The end result: I redid the HRV to house ductwork, and added screws, and tape. Added flexible ductwork from HRV to IN house and OUT from house to HRV
Noise levels before the work was done: 46.4dB in the bedroom. After 21.8dB(> 10 times!). And yes this is the correct math.
CO2 levels are stable and in a green zone.

So to me, it looks like those guys are not professionals, since even I could do a much better job than harmony heating and dont have to pay $5448(all costs, including HRV and controls since the quote was provided without separating the unit cost and the actual work) for that.

Approximate cost of services:
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