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Old 08-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
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Move more air through house during summer

Hi I have a year old HI-E furnace "HEIL". It works great, cools great during the summer, and heats evenly during the winter. My question is there a way to increase the airflow around the house? In minnesota during the off months (no heat or cooling needed) our house musty smelling from not much air movement. I think this is because the HVAC system does not move much air around unless it is heating or cooling the house. Is this a bad idea to increase non use blower speed. Is this something that I can do myself or do I need to hire a tech?


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Old 08-24-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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You probably don't notice mustiness in the summer because your A/C dehumidifies. And you probably don't see a problem in the winter because the relative humidity outdoors is usually quite low.

As for the fix, first I would find your moisture problem. Make sure the gutters are clear, not leaking, and discharge well away from the foundation. Make sure dirt is sloped away from the house. Check out the basement/crawlspace for damp or moldy areas. Also check the attic to ensure the vents are clear (i.e., no insulation clogging up soffit vents) and no mold is present on the wood surfaces or in the insulation (pull some up to check all through it).

I don't think running the HVAC blower will help. Many thermostats have an Auto/On setting that lets you run the fan without heat or A/C, but you're just recirculating musty air. No point. It would probably be more effective to just leave a bathroom exhaust fan or range hood on 24/7.


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Old 08-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. The house does have a rather moist basement. but never any mold or anything like that but it was vacant w/o heat for a couple years and when we purchased it, the air smelled very stagnant (like it does now). I will make sure the grade, sofits and gutters are clear and report back.

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Old 08-24-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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It wouldn't hurt to try turning on the HVAC fan and circulating the air to see if that helps. We have a programmable thermostat and I have the fan set to low to come on during certain times of the day.

If I come home when the fan wasn't on, I can tell.

A DIY Noob that knows just enough to be dangerous.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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Circulation always helps with odors.

Since you are in MN, you probably have a basement. IF it is finished with an air supply and low returns, the basement can be a good source of cool conditioned air from the winter or during AC time in the summer. I just turn my fan to ON instead of AUTO to provide good, cooler air during the in between times when AC or heat are not needed, but the humidity is too high to open up everything. I always run my fan in the ON position in the winter for the sake of comfort. A cool basement decreases the load on an AC if you have good circulation (sort of like a heat/cold sink that you can use when desired). This works well if you have a dry basement and some insulation there (but not too much) since the soil is a great moderator and the basement is relatively constant temperatures especially when a house sees exterior air temperatures between -30F and +100F.

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air movement , increase blower speed

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