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Jeekinz 04-16-2007 10:43 AM

Fresh air home ventilation
What are the units that bring in fresh outside air into your home? Any pros/cons? Is it a DIYer? I have FHA/AC.

mikemy6 04-16-2007 09:12 PM

a barometric sensor and an automated duct vent connected to the smoke detectors might not be DIY. start at the fire station and see what they have to say

Jeekinz 04-17-2007 08:08 AM

From what I've seen, it's a unit that intermittently pulls fresh air from the outside and pumps it through the HVAC system.

mikemy6 04-17-2007 02:17 PM

cool that would be easy, Ive done some for homowners but I had not seen a packaged deal. Im gonna check it out see if i can get some info.. hopefully they got it right Id feel bad for fire guys if they had to fight the fire and the fresh dense air as it gets pulled thru the ducts!

Jeekinz 04-17-2007 04:28 PM

I'm not really following the whole fire thing. I saw a couple episodes on This Old House where they installed a unit seperate from the HVAC unit that brought in fresh air to tightly sealed homes. It was installed near the HVAC unit and had a 4-6" pvc pipe that was installed through the foundation. I remember them saying you need to install that pipe somewhere away from streets or driveways. The reasoning for the unit was that since the house was so "tight", there wasn't enough drafty air being brought in to circulate through the home.

rjordan392 04-18-2007 08:23 AM

They are called HVAC air exchangers, I believe.
Homes that are air tight are all candidates for one of these.
Some people have to open their windows to get fresh air but during the winter or summer, but its not economic.
So an exchanger can preheat or precool the incoming fresh air and exhaust the stale air.
If I recall, these exchangers were intoduced about 5 or 7 years ago and are an option offered by HVAC installers.

Any means to introduce fresh air can be a plus depending on how its introduced and controled.
If your house is air tight, you will need some type of air exchange.
Two ways you can tell is by using your nose or test for carbon dioxide (not carbon monoxide) and see what the concentration is in your home. The outside air concentration is about 340 parts per million. Do your test while the house is occupied with all family members.
You should be ok if your indoor concentration is 600 ppm. But I would consider installing an exchanger if you have a constant concentration of 1000 ppm or higher. A lot of people don't realize that the air in their homes is more polluted then the outside air and even more so with airtight homes.
So the benefits of fresh air introduction means a more healthy interior.
Whether it will cost more depends on how you look at it. Whats more important to you. I do know that these exchangers capture the exhaust temperatures and sends it back to your air handler while still exhausting the stale air.
Also if you have two exterior walls and two party walls, an installation may be difficult if not acceptable.
Do a search on HVAC Air Exchangers for more updated information. A few years ago, I found a company that sells directly to the homeowner. If you got the expertize and knowledge to do it yourself, then go for it; otherwise hire a pro. Goodluck.

Jeekinz 04-18-2007 08:50 AM

Thank you. My house is not air tight, but it gets a little musty in the winter. I use good air filters on my furnace and keep the house clean. I'm going to start with getting the ducts cleaned and go from there.

Edit: I found a supplier

I read a little on these units, the only DIY part of the installation looks like tying the HRV to the blower so they work simultaniously.

rjordan392 04-18-2007 03:08 PM

I checked out that site and there are some models that are just heat recovery units. Near the end of the listings, they show heat/cool recovery ventilators. Make sure you get the one you need.

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