Fresh Air Intake (Below Zero weather)


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Old 02-08-11, 01:34 PM
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Fresh Air Intake (Below Zero weather)

I have a 3500 square foot house, new with 2x6 wall and well insulated, 1000 gallon propane tank in the ground. 80% efficient Amana furnace and propane hot water tank. 3 family home near Wichita, KS.

My Propane bill was $280.00 (used 131 gallons) this month. Today I had a whole house humidifier installed (humidity before installation was 15-20%).

I as installer about a duct that ran to the outside of the house that entered the furnace where the cold air returns entered. He said it was a fresh air intake and I was like WHAT, I am paying money to heat below ZERO air to warm my house!!!!

He agreed with me recommended that I just block it off.

QUESTION to you all experts out there...what do you say? I personally think it is nuts to heat freezing air to warm my house besides that, I am sure it is part of the reason for the high usage and bill.
 
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Old 02-08-11, 02:02 PM
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Air that is going out the chimney has to be replaced and if your house is super air tight and the duct was closed your chimey will not get a good air flow.If your house is not really air tight,that duct is there so you don't suck the air through cracks in doors and windows, making the living space colder than it should be. In theory it is better to heat that cold air.
 
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Old 02-08-11, 02:27 PM
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i would look at installing an ERV so you are not having to heat the cold air
 
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Old 02-08-11, 02:36 PM
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Thanks for the info.

ERV? What is that and where can I find information about that?
 
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Old 02-08-11, 05:09 PM
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Old 02-09-11, 05:46 AM
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Hooking up the fresh air is almost unheard of anymore now days. A few thing that could be done.

-Fresh air dropped next to the furnace/water heater. (This is what done around here in most homes)

-HRV system installed.

-Fresh air damper. The damper is open as needed for fresh air into the home.
 
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Old 02-09-11, 06:00 AM
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I checked out the HRV as Grady said and the price (at least on the Honeywell) was over 2k. I will have to pass on that option.

Jay, can you explain the second option you mentioned, "Fresh air dropped next to the furnace/water heater" How is that done or where I can find more information about that?

I like fresh air damper thought, I will have to look into that.


Again, Thanks
 
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Old 02-09-11, 06:21 AM
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The pipe from the outside around here is 6" and wrapped in insulation. That pipe is brought down to the floor then "J" back up to act as a trap in a way. This is placed near the furnace/water heater. They get the fresh air as needed when they run. The only down fall when we get down to -20˚, the room does get cold, but lot of time the room has a door.

As for the fresh air damper, that is what I have tied into my return. My IAQ stat controls the damper, and only let in fresh air as needed, and when it get to 0˚ and colder or above 90˚ the damper won't open. I do have a pipe "T' into this before the damper and brought down by the water heater.
 
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Old 02-09-11, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rwreuter
I have a 3500 square foot house, new with 2x6 wall and well insulated, 1000 gallon propane tank in the ground. 80% efficient Amana furnace and propane hot water tank. 3 family home near Wichita, KS.

My Propane bill was $280.00 (used 131 gallons) this month. Today I had a whole house humidifier installed (humidity before installation was 15-20%).

I as installer about a duct that ran to the outside of the house that entered the furnace where the cold air returns entered. He said it was a fresh air intake and I was like WHAT, I am paying money to heat below ZERO air to warm my house!!!!

He agreed with me recommended that I just block it off.

QUESTION to you all experts out there...what do you say? I personally think it is nuts to heat freezing air to warm my house besides that, I am sure it is part of the reason for the high usage and bill.
As far as i know i think a fresh air into the home is still code? You need burner air in your utility for your furnace, water heater, dryer. The burner air is separate from fresh air. Fresh air is to make your home a little heather with the air you are breathing. Your home air gets very unhealthy for breathing because of things like fumes from soaps,perfumes, after shave lotions, hair sprays, and the list keeps going. Also you need air to let your bath fans work. That why they made it a code. Paul
 
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Old 02-09-11, 02:12 PM
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I don't have a burner air intake (it is taken from the room), so this must be the fresh air intake. I put a rag over the vent just now, we will see how it works for the next couple of days.

Now, I really wish I would have put in a 95% efficient furnace or geothermal.
 
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Old 02-09-11, 02:40 PM
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An average home needs 60 to 80 cfm of outside air for good iaq. A tight house will need more!
 
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Old 02-09-11, 05:32 PM
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Fresh Air Intake (Below Zero weather)

Originally Posted by rwreuter
I don't have a burner air intake (it is taken from the room), so this must be the fresh air intake. I put a rag over the vent just now, we will see how it works for the next couple of days.

Now, I really wish I would have put in a 95% efficient furnace or geothermal.
Make sure your carbon monoxide testers are working and in good shape. If you are not going to have any fresh air or burner air coming into the home, then you could pull a vacuum on the house and the gas fumes will dump into the house instead of going up the stacks, Keep in mind that Gas furnace, water heater, dryers, range,
bath fans, kit. fan. all these items ether need air to burn or are taking air out of the house and that air has to come from some where. Would like to see you stay healthy. Paul
 
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Old 06-26-11, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay11J
As for the fresh air damper, that is what I have tied into my return. My IAQ stat controls the damper, and only let in fresh air as needed, and when it get to 0˚ and colder or above 90˚ the damper won't open. I do have a pipe "T' into this before the damper and brought down by the water heater.
would you mind giving me a link to a fresh air damper set up like you have?

the ones that i have seen, only open then the blower kicks on, i would be assuming that is what you meant by "as needed"


thanks,

rob
 
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Old 06-26-11, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rwreuter
would you mind giving me a link to a fresh air damper set up like you have?

the ones that i have seen, only open then the blower kicks on, i would be assuming that is what you meant by "as needed"


thanks,

rob
Rob,

The damper is the Honeywell Y8150 Damper.
 
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Old 06-26-11, 04:49 PM
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do you know of, or have you heard of one that will automatically close when it reaches a predetermined temperture, so you are not heating below zero air or cooling 100 degree air with 60% humidity?


Rob
 
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Old 06-26-11, 05:03 PM
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It will work as you want with a different controller. I believe that using the fore mentioned system with the Honeywell prestige IAQ thermostat will allow you to do this. In my visionpro IAQ thermostat it will not allow venting below 0 to -10 or above 90-110. The prestige I believe calculates in humidity as well as temp lockouts
 
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Old 06-27-11, 09:05 AM
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DON'T fool around with this fresh air supply, is my advice! You can cause serious problems for the health and safety of your family.

Guessing and supposing is not an adequate basis for making modifications in the equipment.
 
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Old 06-28-11, 10:06 AM
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Keep the fresh air supply going into the furnace return. It allows required make-up air to be brought into the home and the benefit is it would be tempered when passed over the heat exchanger or when the burner isn't running it'll have time to mix with the room temperature air in the ducting. If you have a make-up air line from outside going into the return air plenum and a heating duct going into the furnace room this can also work as combustion-air assuming it's sized properly for your appliances.

It can also put a slight positive pressure in your home which can improve the function of your exhaust fans as well as prevent cold drafts from entering the home with no noticeable increase in fuel consumption. If you remove the line to the return plenum you would have to add a combustion air line anyways to supply air for the burners and draft regulator. As was also mentioned it allows fresh outdoor air to be brought in when stale air is exhausted improving IAQ.

A lack of combustion air will cause exhaust gases to be pulled through the chimney damper and into your home. A lack of make-up air will cause exhaust fans (bath/kitchen/etc) to pull in outdoor air from the chimney or any available leaks/cracks in your home which would create cold drafts. This is one of the easiest and most cost effective methods for covering combustion-air and make-up air and can eliminate the need for an HRV in new homes. We often set these up with a fan motor set to low speed and constant circulation so air can be supplied into the home whenever necessary and with the constant circulation the heat throughout the home is distributed more evenly.
 
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Old 06-28-11, 02:31 PM
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rwreuter,

You live in KS. You should look at the Efficiency Kansas program. Code does require fresh air for an 80% furnace and a propane hot water heater. How tight is your home? Have your run a blower door on it?
 
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Old 07-27-11, 02:38 PM
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Question time to fix the air intake

Hello anyone who has had problems with the air intake pipe on the high efficiency furnace. I found a after market device at Flamemeister : Combustion Air Modulator. It tells me this add-on can prevent a furnace flame cut-out. The pipe is too close to the ground and gets plugged with snow (welcome to WI). I live in a log house; so rerouting the thing is really messy. Has anyone ever seen (or installed) this "meister thing?" Thanks RLW
 
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Old 07-27-11, 02:48 PM
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Flamemeister

That looks a lot like what we use for oil burners except it is plastic where ours are metal.
 
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Old 07-27-11, 02:55 PM
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same thing as Intake 2...... These are not good to install. If your system uses 2 pipes it is direct vent and needs to be kept direct vent unless your furnace is certified to be a 1 pipe system and you have enough combustion air available for the furnace to run in the space where the device is located.

I would not use this!
 
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Old 07-27-11, 03:05 PM
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I do not have a makeup air system. The "leaky" logs provide "plenty of fresh air" (about 135 cfm per the utility measurement to get a rebate on some new insulation). Thanks
 
 

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