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jt24

House air exchanger

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I have a question about my air exchanger. Are they suppose to run continuous even when the furnace is not running?? Its ice cold in my utility room and just cant help but wonder about the water lines in there! The other thing is it is not hooked up to the duct work, it just blows into the room. When the plumber installed it he just cut a hole in the duct work right above the air exchanger so furnace sucks the air in I guess. It just doesnt seem right but he assured me thats how you do it but I have seen others piped right in to the duct work. Thanks for any help!!

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Sounds likae half a job to me. Look in your book and get it done right. They can be set on a humidistat or on a time percent basis. They take some time to get them dialed in right where you want it.

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It should be in your main duct line. There should be a built in humidistat on the unit itself which will monitor the air in that room. You can also add remote ones to the kitchen or bathroom if needed. I just use a timer at the thermostat upstairs. We do run ours continuous (low speed out of four settings) in the winter because of window condensation and then hit the timer when cooking or bathing (kicks up to high speed). If we have a power outage, our unit resets the low continuous setting. We also have the additional retrun lines run to draw from the bathrooms and kitchen and not just through the return main duct line.

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We did have controls in the bathrooms and kitchen installed but what good are they if the air blows in the furnace room and the furnace fan doesnt run!! Just ticks me off how it was done and my plumber kept telling me thats how you are suppose to do it! Looks like I will have to find someone to fix it right. Problem is I dont trust any plumbers in my area. Had a hard time finding the one I did and he didnt do a very good job!

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Who inspects them? In our area, the building inspector is the plumbing and HVAC inspector. The quick two second look these units get mean nothing. Maybe in and around the metro area there are inspectors with the know-how to make sure of proper installation, but out here in the sticks, we get the jack of all trades type. If the community these plumbers are working in are less than 5000 people, the plumbers don't even need a license. Redwood Falls has a couple of unlicensed plumbers that should not be allowed to work on a toy house, let alone a real house. Good luck in your search.

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There's part of a problem Minnesota has,They dont require all counties to conform to the same codes.

I should also add, it would irk some counties if they were required to conform,they dont want to educate their inspectors Costs bucks & time, set state wide rules also would cost lots of projects more dollars and the outstate counties and small towns just dont want to be included.

The way its been working if you (as a county,city,municipility) want to abide OK you can join,if not its OK also.

When I moved to this area there were 3 different codes in a 10 mile area,But this county finally went with the state adopted codes.

At times its confusing???

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This is a pet peve of mine, I have yet to meet 2 different hvac contractors that can give the same answer on how these units (erv or hrv) are to be coordinated into the system to operate properly. (on the same home) And worse yet, they wrap up their jobs, pack their tools and send ya the bill. No mention to homeowners on how to's or when to's. They should be providing a step by step, month by month (if needed) documentation on settings for each unit installed and/or a complete walk threw per season for the first year at the very least to get the systems dialed in properly for the home owners. but providing something in writing that is ledgeble enough to be handed down to the next home owner and be understood would be hugely appreiciated.

there's no question that each home is different, thats why each home needs its own instrction manual for this type of need.

Jt24, my folks just had a new home built and are experiencing the same type thing. new air from air exchanger is dumped into the duct work on the return air side of the furnace, so when the furnace isnt on but the exchanger is running,it pumps back threw the returns and fills the houme with cold outside air. they had the kahony's to bill them to fix. idiots...

Roofer, do you know 2 inspectors that think alike on this type issue? they inspect what they are told to by the state, which imo has no buisness in something they no nothing about..

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I do not run mine when the air temp outside is greater than 20 degrees different from indoor temp. I've heard from hvac contractors that a house "breathes" enough not to require that we pump in fresh air. I simply unplug the unit in winter and summer. I CAN tell you that the fresh air line is pumped into the cold air return.

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Roofer, do you know 2 inspectors that think alike on this type issue? they inspect what they are told to by the state, which imo has no buisness in something they no nothing about..

Nope, haha.

There are quite a few things like that. I don't think many people have this air/moisture thing right yet. There are way too many variables.

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This is a pet peve of mine, I have yet to meet 2 different hvac contractors that can give the same answer on how these units (erv or hrv) are to be coordinated into the system to operate properly. (on the same home) And worse yet, they wrap up their jobs, pack their tools and send ya the bill. No mention to homeowners on how to's or when to's. They should be providing a step by step, month by month (if needed) documentation on settings for each unit installed and/or a complete walk threw per season for the first year at the very least to get the systems dialed in properly for the home owners. but providing something in writing that is ledgeble enough to be handed down to the next home owner and be understood would be hugely appreiciated.

there's no question that each home is different, thats why each home needs its own instrction manual for this type of need.

Jt24, my folks just had a new home built and are experiencing the same type thing. new air from air exchanger is dumped into the duct work on the return air side of the furnace, so when the furnace isnt on but the exchanger is running,it pumps back threw the returns and fills the houme with cold outside air. they had the kahony's to bill them to fix. idiots...

Roofer, do you know 2 inspectors that think alike on this type issue? they inspect what they are told to by the state, which imo has no buisness in something they no nothing about..

The thing there, when ya get your license for inspections your advised to interpret the codes,Every one interprets written codes a bit differently,Eventually when the head inspector has been questioned enough by his subordinates,he sets a standard to go by.AirExchangers been around a very short time,There not the norm,but are comming around to be with houses built so tight.So I'd guess there will soon be set standards ,but its depending on your area also.The areas with exchangers installed with high rates will have these standards before??well lets say RedwoodFalls.

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I here ya sparce,

I have no beef with the inspectors, they are doing their jobs. But what would be wrong with having them to do follow up checks seasonaly to see if there are issues with the way that the hvac in their homes are working. after all we look to them for the answers. Right? they would get first hand info on all sorts of systems and their particulars, along with cost savings and health conditions that they could use in future code writng.

(a dream, I know)

It's quite likely that JT24 could call 3 diff hvac guys and get 3 different opinions on the fix.

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Well a inspecter is advised NOT to give advice,But assure code compliance.That you would have to hire out to the contractor.

If the inspecter gave advice and something went wrong they could & probably be held responcible.They are like I stated Code Compliance.

At times a inspecter will give advice if asked,But only to help the unskilled home owner,or inform a worker/contractor of compliance.

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JT....contact JP Plumbing and Heating in New Ulm theyll get it done right....not sure if theyd drive to redwood though

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There are so many variables that there is no set answers.

Your HVAC guy should have designed this as a whole house system. There are way to many things to take into consideration for anyone to give you an answer on-line.

Having said that I would ask what brand and model exchanger you have.

Yes the air exchanger could be designed to run continuous. After all if its not running its not exchanging air.

Some have a frost switch that will shut down the blower when temps inside the exchanger drop below a certain temp.

Some systems are designed as a stand alone independent of your furnace.

"Fresh air" should go to a room other then where the "stale air intake" is located. It seems more times then not the fresh air in is dumped into a utility room. In those cases I'm thinking the intention is to supply combustion air and or the air exchange system was and after thought. Or a bare bones system taking stale air and dumping fresh air from and to one location each. That still works but your going to get a cold spot where that fresh air gets dumped. I've seen utility rooms so cold that the condensation lines in the furnace froze. You have to wonder about that.

Is the "fresh air" and "stale air intake" in the same utility room? If so its not right and that room is going to get cold and stay cold.

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The brand is a Summeraire. The fresh air is dumped into the utility room and the stale air so sucked from other parts. I read the manual and it says you are able to run it this way but you must have the fan for the furnace wired in to run when you over ride the low setting from your switch in the bathrooms. Basically the thing works when the furnace is running but our controls are useless. Last night our walls in our masterbath where all wet! Works real well doesnt it!

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The Manufacturer will give you the recommended installation requirements. Call them or go online. These things are designed to run 24 hours a day 365 days a year unless you have your windows open.

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Why is it necessary to run an air exchanger in the summer if you have central air conditioning? Doesn't the AC do the same thing? I am a new home owner with an air exchanger who is also clueless as to how to run one of these things!

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