In this article I will review several things that usually nobody is thinking when buying a ventilation unit or any other device. It’s warranty, post-warranty service and maintenance.
1. Warranty service
All the equipment fails time to time. The weakest spot in an air handling unit is automatics and its components. I know quite a lot of companies, that changed sensors, control boards and remote-control devices in already installed devices. Therefore, the first thing you need to ask the seller: who will provide warranty service and how fast they will respond.
For example, delivery of the replacement fans from the manufacturer may take 30 or event more days, if it is not stocked. Therefore, if warranty service is not fluent, you may be left without ventilation for quite a long period. Imagine if it’s winter season…
Remember, installer usually just mounts the air handling unit, he is not responsible for warranty service, if you have not agreed otherwise.
2. Post-warranty service
You should naturally expect that ventilation unit may operate for 7-10 years, if it’s properly maintained. Therefore, it is important what will happen after warranty period of 2-5 years. EU obliged manufacturers to provide spare parts for up to 10 years after manufacturing date. But nowadays new companies appear in ventilation business, which of course do not have such history by themselves.
Replacement parts are not cheap, e.g. manufacturer pays himself for fan 30-100 €, and cost of automatics might be 60-300 €. Price which you will pay for the supplier can be multiplied at least by 2.
But the biggest risk, that these components can not be found on the ordinary electronics shop. Control board might be unique, therefore in case of manufacturer or distributor fault, you might be forced to buy new air handling unit.
I am not intending to scare from buying devices from the new manufacturers, but your risk is greater. Therefore, maybe you must pay less for it.
3. Maintenance costs
Manufacturers struggle to produce service-friendly residential ventilation units. All the components in most cases can be changed even by inexperienced user (but I do not recommend changing core electronic components by yourself, if you are not an electrician). The most other maintenance works are quite simple.
In user manuals manufacturer provide instructions, how to make the maintenance. There are some wearing parts, what you need periodically inspect and change if necessary.
For the unit with rotor heat exchanger they are rotor belt and brushes or other type of sealing material.
Regarding rotor belt it’s quite clear. When it breaks, heat regeneration stops, and you will have huge heat loses though ventilation. The most units have rotation sensing device; therefore, you will be informed by the control device. In wintertime, unit will stop ventilation due to the low supply air temperature.
Brushes or the other sealing tape is required to ensure airtightness or rotor. Due to friction it worn out, therefore air leakages increase. Therefore, you will get not only lower heat recovery rate, but also higher level of mixing of an extract air with a supply air. Usually rotor internal leakage is between 2-5%, but due to deterioration it increases.
If you buy more rare air handling unit in your country, you might be forced to buy original filter. Set of the filters may cost even 60 €, not because it worth it, but their greed takes over. So it will be 180 € annualy or 1800 € in whole exploitation period.
High quality analog filters might quite lower your expenses…
The most popular ventilation units varies in every country. If you will select popular ones like Systemair, Swegon, SALDA, Komfovent, FLEXIT, Exhausto, Brink, Zhender or etc., you usually will not face difficulties with getting required support. In opposite case, at least you will not be the only one 😊