Honeywell IAQ Retrofit
I'm a new home owner and fresh on the HVAC bandwagon so please bear with me if I'm not hip on the lingo just yet.
With that in mind I was hoping to get a little feedback about my house T-Stat system and my planned retro-fit for it to the Honeywell IAQ system.
I currently have a standard Honeywell TH6110 Thermostat, standard gas furnace, AC, and a VanEE 90H Air Exchanger system that runs on a separate control. My long term goal was to add a Humidifier in the furnace and with conventional t-stats it means I need to get more wires up to my T-stat if I want to be able to control it (additionally I need a t-stat with humidity control).
This brings me to the IAQ system. Since I only have four wires run up to my existing thermostat I was looking at implemeting the IAQ since then the EIM would be in the basement right near any future devices I intend to add. If I understand the IAQ correctly I only need three wires which get used for power and communication to the EIM. Is that correct?
Ideally I would really like to add the the VanEE 90H into the system as well so that I can have everything run off of the IAQ Stat. I know the IAQ does have a ventillation capability but I was hoping to find out if anyone has any experience with connecting a VanEE system to the IAQ's and if it would be possible to cut out the VanEE control module completely if I added an outside temp sensor as well. They could co-exist I suppose but I'd remove it if I could.
Here is a link to the VanEE unit I have:
I have one Bronze Control and three of the 20-minute timers. I would like to keep the existing timers but remove the Bronze Control from the system and just use the IAQ for ventillation.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Based on what you've just said, I would highly recommend getting in touch with a reputable local contractor. Have them come out for an estimate, odd's are it's free, and that way they will be able to possibly get you set up with the correct equipment and accesories!
Is it Friday yet?
Ya that is an option but a more expensive solution. I was hoping to do it myself not only to save some money but also so I could learn and be more educated about the system I have.
Originally Posted by chevytruck22
The bulk of this project should not be more complicated than re-routing existing wires into the new system and tying the new system back into the furnace.
The real complication comes in with the VanEE system as I have not found any information online that really shows it tied into a system like the IAQ so I was hoping someone on here could steer me in the right direction.
Read the site rules please...no DIY!!
The life you save may be your own...
My bad I should have read that before posting. From the other posts I've read on here I thought this would be a good place for information. I'll seek for my information elsewhere.
I've got one of VanEE's gold series ERV's and a VisionPro IAQ. I actually just operate the ERV independently of the IAQ since the control that comes with the ERV is so nice. I use the ventilation control on the IAQ to control a Belimo actuated damper on a makeup air flex run ducted to my return plenum. Prevents over ventilation and increased energy expense due to constantly dumping unconditioned air into the house when there isn't a need for it makeup air.
Additionally, the IAQ is designed to calculate the ventilation requirements per ASHRAE 62.2 and then implement an automatic ventilation program. These ventilators are designed to run continuously in low speed operation, so that's the way I use mine. An interesting note about the IAQ stat, there are actually two firmware versions in circulation right now. Version 1 won't let the homeowner disable the auto programs created during install. Version 2 provides this option and is MUCH, MUCH more refined and complete in its programming. There will either be a 1 or a 2 printed sideways following the model # on the back of the stat. This shows which firmware version is loaded.
BTW, the reason for getting an IAQ has nothing to do with the number of conductors required. This device can literally control every aspect of your HVAC system completely automatically with virtually zero user intervention. Just be sure to get the second revision model, the differences are staggering, plus you won't be pulling your hair out comparing the feature set available to the product documentation and trying to figure out what is wrong with your stat. Any questions, just ask...
Last edited by goldenear; 03-23-2007 at 06:25 PM.
Thanks for the heads up on the revisions. I've been reading a ton about the IAQ and there has been nothing mentioned about the various revisions. I'll make sure any I buy is the latest.
Originally Posted by goldenear
My concern about the wires and this particular model is because I currently only have four wires running between my current stat. Essentially it's only doing 1 Heat and 1 Cool right now. The IAQ is of particular appeal because if I was to say add Humidty to the system with a better thermostat it would mean getting an extra pair of wires to my Stat location which would not be an easy task. This is specifically the reason I am looking at the Vision Pro IAQ. It uses a 3-wire power/communication to the EIM. I can use my existing wires that already run to that location and tie into the EIM in my utility room.
Your gold series control on your VanEE beats the crap out of my Basic control panel. The Basic control essentially is just an Off/Min/High and you can dial in the Dehumidistat to a particular outside temperature. My timers are all located in the bathrooms and are 20 Min (high).
So with that in mind you can see why I would want to have the ERV on some sort of control. Right now it's all manual and I think tying my ERV into the Vision Pro would be ideal. I still need to do some more investigating on my ERV controls as I'm a little uncertain just what would be the best way to bring the ERV into the VisionPro. I think I will know more after I disect my Bronze Control device a little more.
I took the advice of the first two posters and contacted my local HVAC contractor. They are the ones that installed all of the curent HVAC devices in my house. No offense intended to other installers here but the gentleman I talked to had barely an understanding of the IAQ. In his own words, "we could install it for you but if it worked great and if not it's your problem..."
I work in the Industrial Instrumentation world but I don't have much hands on experience with HVAC equipment, in particular my own. My whole intention of signing onto these forums was to try to help get a better understanding of the equipment I own. If you get an opportunity I would really appreciate it if you could look at the Bronze/Basic control unit installation details for the 90H ERV and give me your opinion on what you think would be the best stratedgy for tying it into the VisionPro.
I still plan to follow thru with my local contractor and see what he comes back with. We left the conversation with him going off to read up more on the Vision Pro IAQ. In the end I just want the best overall control and automation I can get for my house.
Last edited by Valen; 03-23-2007 at 10:43 PM.
goldenear, I am very interested in the firmware revisions that you are talking about. Could you please expand on them more? I am not sure I understand what the difference is. I currently have an IAQ stat.
Valen, correct me if I'm wrong, but according to your users guide, the bronze series has a dehumidistat control, so I'm not following you there - unless you're saying you can't run wire to put the control on the wall. Regardless, integrating the ERV with the IAQ yields only two benefits - the option to ventilate automatically according to ASHRAE 62.2 based upon the IAQ's calculations (negated if you simply run the ERV on continuous low), and the option to automatically control indoor RH (frost-free aggressiveness) based upon outdoor temp. You can do that manually with the VanEE control (only affects low speed continuous --> temporary high speed for hum control). Based upon what I have seen, the option of changing fan speeds will not be possible with the IAQ because it simply energizes VNT2 with +24VAC when the stat calls for ventilation. You would have to check with Honeywell to make sure. That might not be that big of a deal depending on the amount of air in your home that you're trying to turn over. I know on my unit there are three speed lines that I can tap. So I set my low speed to be the medium speed. If you don't have the medium setting, then maybe using just the low speed will work for your situation - again, if you don't intend to operate the ERV on continuous low. VanEE may be able to come up with a solution to wire the unit to the IAQ so that when 24VAC hits VNT2, that kicks the unit on high speed.
nashent1, the differences between the two versions of firmware are so significant that I'm just not going to go into all of them. There are so many more configuration options available and the Auto/Off feature of the vent, hum, dehum, etc. (as long as those terminals are activated) are all there when you choose "more" on the touchpad. Just take the stat off the wall and look at the sideways printed number following the model # to find out which version you have. If it's 1, I'd return it and ask for the newer model.
The Bronze unit I have does have the Off/Min/Max as well as the Dehumidistat (Frost) dial. I did some tests on it over the weekend and I'm a little stumped as to how or what it actually does.
The control panel only has two wires (green/black) going into it essentially just a contact. Here is the information I collected so maybe you can explain how or what this control is actually doing.
1. Switch Off / Humidistat Dial +5*C or Colder: Contact Open
2. Switch Min / Humidistat Dial +5*C or Colder: Contact Closed (small amount of resistance)
3. Switch Max / Humidistat Dial +5*C or Colder: Contact Closed (about half resistance when compared to condition #2)
4. Min or Max / Humidistat Dial +5 or Warmer: Contact Open, Furnace Fan Engaged
Those are essentially the four modes that this control can opeate in. I am not exactly sure how the ERV knows the difference between Min/Max unless it senses that small amount of resistance change. If there is a speed change it's very subtle because I can't hear/feel any difference in the ERV. My furnace fan only has one speed also so it's not like it can deliver air any faster.
I am also uncertain what effect cranking the dial past +5 does when the contact opens. I can't notice any decernable change at the ERV. The only difference is the contact Opens when it gets above +5*C or so.
I really wish there was some information about what the Bronze panel actually does and what the ERV is doing in each operational mode. It definately does it's job because in the winter time I can start up the system and in about 4-6 hours it will clean the frost off of all of my windows.
So from what you are saying below the IAQ can do frost control as well. I know I read that in the manual but some one else told me that the outside temperature was only used for the Heating Cycle humidity control so I was not sure if the IAQ took outside temp and used it for Frost control. If it actually does that is definate plus. Right now I have to do this all manually and it's a pain in the butt.
Thanks for your feedback I appreciate it.
Originally Posted by goldenear
ok, here's the scoop on the VanEE control. Min & Max are the two motor speeds. These are very nicely balanced motors and the cabinet is probably insulated like mine and that's why you can't tell any difference between the two speeds. Your dial control is calibrated based upon temperature (like mine) instead of indoor RH %. So Venmar/VanEE has made some generalizations about what your indoor RH should be based upon the outdoor temp. I suppose it's easier for most people to just look at the outdoor temp and adjust the knob accordingly, rather than to think in terms of indoor RH % in order to control window condensation. So when you back that knob down on the temp scale and it clicks, that's basically your indoor RH. When you dial it down and it clicks, it will kick the speed up to high speed and run continuously until you've dried out the house enough to satisfy the control at which point it reverts back to low speed continuous, intermittent, or off depending on what the control(s) were set at prior to you turning the "condensation control" knob. Obviously this only applies during the heating season and that's why there's a section for you to "park" the knob labeled "summer" at least on mine.
"...some one else told me that the outside temperature was only used for the Heating Cycle humidity control so I was not sure if the IAQ took outside temp and used it for Frost control."
Well, heating cycle humidity control is frost control. You're not going to have window frost in the cooling season, right? The IAQ is nicer than the ERV control because instead of just assuming that a particular indoor RH is acceptable in your home based upon the outdoor temp (fixed scale), it actually allows you to specify the aggressiveness just in case you need more or less ventilation than what the unit calculates (by default) based upon the performance capabilities of your windows.
Again, I'm going to say that your ERV was designed to be operated continuously on low speed. And that is generally good enough to control condensation. The only time it isn't is when there are large, rapid shifts downward in temperature. Then, the high speed is necessary. It's also nice when you're entertaining a lot of people to avoid that stale air feeling. But really, it's not that much trouble just to dial the temp knob back a bit and let the unit do its thing WRT condensation control. So I assume you don't operate your ERV continuously.
Ok so if I understand this correctly then these are modes of operation:
1. Min & Dial in summer mode - ERV in min ventillation mode
2. Max & Dial in summer mode - ERV in high speed ventillation
3. Min & Dial in Frost Mode - ERV in min mode with RH/Frost Control
4. Max & Dial in Frost Mode - ERV in Max mode with RH/Frost Control
If this is the case then the ERV must sense this resistance change between Min/Max mode on that contact. The one thing I don't understand is when I dial in summer mode the contact opens. When this happens shouldn't the ERV just shut off? With the contact open I don't see how the ERV and furnace fan should be running but they are. I'm just not clear where it's getting this signal from to just ventillate.
You are correct, I do not normally run the ERV system in unless I a trying to do Frost clean-up or unless I want some extra ventillation, like when we have parties and what not. For this reason I really like the IAQ, I can tell it to do a certain amount of ventillation per day and in the winter I can train it to help take care of the frost. I'm all about automation.
Perhaps I should be running the ERV in min mode probably would provide air quality in the house.
Originally Posted by goldenear
when you dial the knob to summer, you've just taken the dehumidistat out of the equation because you're not going to dehumidify the house with outside summer air. That's why VanEE has that setting - to disable the high speed override for condensation control during the cooling season. If the unit continues to operate after you park the knob at summer, then you must have either low speed continuous or high speed continuous selected.
You should call Venmar/VanEE and ask them how to integrate a +24VAC terminal into the mix to replace your existing control.