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Old 05-21-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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fresh air intake for furnace


I'm wondering how involved would it be to add a fresh air intake so I could bring cool outside air at night to help cool the house down in summer. (no AC)

I'm guessing a dryer type duct would not cut it, it would have to be bigger. As far as how it terminates coming out of the house, insulation for winter etc what would I need, is this something common where I can find info online, and parts, or would I need to rig this myself?

I also live in a cold climate so I would need to be able to shut it off in winter and insulate it well. I'm even thinking if I put an electric damper, I could have it setup so if my thermostat is set to AC, the damper opens. The wire that goes to the condenser is part of the thermostat control circuit right? I could just make that wire control the damper.

Is this a valid idea that is doable, safe, to code etc?

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Old 05-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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fresh air intake for furnace


How warm will it be when you use this duct?
Depending on outdoor temp. Might have a hard time getting enough air to cool the house down.

Might need a rather large intake.

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Old 05-21-2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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fresh air intake for furnace


Normally it peaks at maybe 25-30C but not any more then that. At that point, I would turn that intake off and just circulate air. At night I would turn it off, when the temp drops to 15C or so. Idealy it would be cool (no pun intended) to make it so the damper only opens if the "AC" is triggered by the thermostat AND that the outside temp is cooler then inside, but I can always figure that out later. I could even just hard program it by making the damper open only if it's 15C or cooler outside. Some Wiring logic that should be easy to figure out.

Another thing I'm thinking that might be easier is just setup an intake in the basement as that air is generally cooler. It looks like the previous owners actually did that at some point as there is a big patched up section on the intake duct. I might look at adding some kind of damper to that or something.
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:48 PM   #4
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fresh air intake for furnace


I looked at my setup further, and realized there is no room to put an intake anywhere unless I get too close to the dryer vent which would not be desirable, so think I will drop this idea of mine. I might make a basement intake that I can turn on/off and just stick to that.
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:53 PM   #5
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fresh air intake for furnace


If you have a gas or oil fired water heater. Make sure you leave the door between the basement and first floor open. So you don't put the basement into a negative pressure.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:57 PM   #6
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fresh air intake for furnace


Good point, want to make sure I'm not pulling air from the HW heater chimney.

There is a crack under the door (about 1 inch) and I still have two intakes upstairs, and there is some vents in the basement (positive not intake), do you think I would be ok even if I leave the door closed? Guess I'd have to make sure the new intake I create does not have more square inches then the total of all open vents, does this make sense?
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:32 PM   #7
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fresh air intake for furnace


The new opening in the return. being closer to the furnace could pull more air in per sq in then the supplies and the gap under the door will easily flow.

Might want to start with a smaller opening(8X8) and see if it goes to a negative pressure.

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