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Is there something to pump fresh air into HT?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My HT doesn't have any windows and is located next to the boiler room - so air quality is not good.
I am building a soffit to include venting and I can easily extend the vent to the window in the adjacent boiler room
Thereby getting access to fresh air.

Is there a device which I can hook up next to the window which can pump fresh air into the room?
What then happens to the existing "bad" air in the HT - do I need something to pull air out of the HT?
Ideally this is something that I could put on a timer.
Also - I'd like to hook up a portable A/C unit, to this venting so that during the summer I can turn this A/C unit on , and it'll pump cold air into the HT

any suggestions?
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgott42 View Post

My HT doesn't have any windows and is located next to the boiler room - so air quality is not good.
I am building a soffit to include venting and I can easily extend the vent to the window in the adjacent boiler room
Thereby getting access to fresh air.

Is there a device which I can hook up next to the window which can pump fresh air into the room?
What then happens to the existing "bad" air in the HT - do I need something to pull air out of the HT?
Ideally this is something that I could put on a timer.
Also - I'd like to hook up a portable A/C unit, to this venting so that during the summer I can turn this A/C unit on , and it'll pump cold air into the HT

any suggestions?

My whole basement has this problem, no windows. Back when it was built in 1983 this met code for southeast Michigan. So I have your problem too but to an even greater extent. The ideal solution is a mini split. but that is far outside of what I can afford. My temporary, inexpensive solution was to put in some additional vents in the ducts already in my basement after consulting with the HAVAC people who put in my furnace.
post #3 of 8
post #4 of 8
For fresh air exchange they are generically called ERV and HRV. HRV is heat recovery ventilator. E is for energy and works for both heat and cool air recovery, which would be the one you would want. A bunch of companies make them - Trane, Broan, Panasonic, Mitsubushi, plus many more.

The problem is they're not very efficient, @ 70% top rated and actual performance suspected much lower for all of them. More efficient than an exhaust fan & a make up air duct on your AC ( which would be 0% ) but not exactly the silver bullet they sell them as either. I have 2 of the Broan ERV's and they bring in a lot of extra humidity in the summer time. If you have AC and it runs enough, it will take the moisture out, or you can get a dedicated dehumidifier. I have the latter because the AC in my basement doesn't run often enough because it's naturally cool down there. With the ERV on, the dehumidifier runs almost constantly and it creates a lot of noise between the 2 of them. The ERVs are fairly loud, much louder than my AC air handler, and closer to the sound of the vent above my stove. Also nothing works together, so if you're going to piece things together, give some thought how you'll control it.

Dennis did the plans for both LeBon and I, but LeBon's solution sounded better than mine. He had a humidifier that could pull in outside fresh air (but not exhaust stale air). That presumably would be delivered to the theater room to pressurize it somewhat. A portion of the air would be allowed to enter the equipment room through a dead vent. Then the equipment room would pull the hot air off the racks and vent that air outside (with a powered exhaust fan).

I'm not sure if he still plans to do that or scrapped the idea for some other reason. But to me, it's much more elegant than multiple AC supply & return vents in room, ERV / fresh air supply & return vents in room, and dehumidifier supply & return vents in room. I've considered getting rid of the Broans and getting going with LeBon's plan for both my theater & kitchen. The difficulty for me is the whole house is brick & stone with spray foam insulation, so not easy to cut holes in the exterior walls.

But to answer your question, yes, an ERV will pump fresh air into the HT and pump stale air out, while trying to recover some of the coolness & lack of humidity in the out going air. They typically have 4 duct connectors - inside fresh supply, inside stale return, outside fresh supply, outside stale return. You mount vents for the 2 outside ducts to a window or more ideally to the side of your home like a dryer vent. The Broan uses 1 combo vent for the outside air.

The other option I may try, which my builder recommended because it's simple... Attach a fresh air intake vent into the return air duct of the AC system. If an interior exhaust fan like bathroom fan, stove fan, or electronic rack fans, start to depressurize the house then fresh air is naturally pulled into the AC system, conditioned, and fed to the space through the standard HVAC ducts. There is a delay because the HVAC may not be running and no energy recovery is attempted, but it's like a $50 option, no electronics, no BS.
post #5 of 8
My plan is still to use a ducted mini-split (12000 BTU/hr) and a small dehumidifier. Fresh air will come into both units, and the stale air exhaust will be a Panasonic in-line fan drawing from the room through the equipment closet to the outside. No dead vent between the room and the equipment closet, just slotted vents in the baseboard.

I believe it will be a good solution, but I'm choking on the cost...
post #6 of 8
I'm going with the EVR option - separate ducting in and out of the theater for it.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks the ERV sounds interesting.
though one review on AMazon - said it's costly to install http://www.amazon.com/review/R20NKK7QARMAMA/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000XJNZ1Y&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=228013&store=hi

Approx -how much?
Also does this hang from the ceiling ? - i.e. would I need to reopen my ceiling to get the duct work (would prefer not) or can I put it in the soffit - along the side of the room that I'm building now?
Also what are the advantages over 2 fans (one for in and one for out): http://www.pexsupply.com/Fantech-FG6XL-FG-Series-Round-Inline-Exhaust-Fan-6-Duct-483-CFM?gclid=CLL6j5iH8LkCFZCd4AodXmkAFQ
post #8 of 8
Unless you have a window you can open, either way you're looking at some duct work. The advantages of the ERV is in the summer it cools the incoming air somewhat using the low temperature of your exhaust air. It also transfers some of the humidity from the outside air into your exhaust air. In the winter, it's the opposite. Incoming cold air from outside is warmed by the inside air you are exhausting. Mine also came with a controller. Runs all the time filtering air through a HEPA filter, and for either 4 min or 20 min (selectable) it brings in fresh air. It won't do it if the temp difference is too much, and there are different speed settings, manual fresh air exchange, etc.

The Panasonic you listed looks like the interior vents are on the box and the box is meant to go in the ceiling and exchange air in that room. The version I have is more like central forced air where it sits in the mechanical room, hanging from rubber things, with external in/out and internal in/out.

Works better in theory than in practice. My install costs were ~$400 per unit, but that was new construction so pretty easy to run ducts. On the high side, I thought, mainly because I bought my own from Newwgg and had them install. They weren't too happy.
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