How to Troubleshoot an Air Exchanger

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A properly running air exchanger can make a home more comfortable.

An air exchanger, also known as a heat recovery ventilator or heat exchanger, is a machine which provides counter-flow circulation between indoor and outdoor air. It provides fresh air and climate control for a building. Some models of air exchangers are optimized to reduce the spread of bacteria that might cause mold and some allergic reactions from other outdoor contaminants. Regular inspection and care of an air exchanger can help optimize its efficiency and allow for continued functioning.


Step 1

Switch on the central heating system if there is persistent condensation on the windows. Keep the thermostat adjusted to 64 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. An insufficiently heated home can cause condensation problems due to humidity.

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Step 2

Maintain a minimum air exchange setting of 35% if the air is too dry. If this doesn't resolve the problem, adjust the speed setting to low to decrease air flow. Depending on the outdoor climate, a high air flow can increase dry air.


Step 3

Inspect the stale air exhaust hood outside the building if the air register is blowing too cold. This means too much air is passing through the register. If the stale air exhaust hood is blocked, switch off the air exhaust and use a narrow tool, such as a screwdriver, to unblock the exhaust hood. If the air exhaust hood isn't blocked, adjust the speed setting of the air exchanger to low to decrease air flow.


Always turn the stale air exhaust off before cleaning or unblocking it.

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