Should I leave fan on continuously in an Open Foam Insulated Hous

foodeefishSeptember 30, 2011

We just built a one story 3000 Sqr Ft home and had it insulated with Open Cell insulation including the roof. The heat Pump is 16 SEER 2.5 ton Bryant we were given brand new from a friend. We keep the thermostat at a constant 74 degrees at all times.

We live in South Carolina where the day time lately has been in the 80's and at night in the 50's and 60's.

The house is so tight that when we change the two filters at the intake it sucks the filter in pretty hard if the system is on.

My question is should we turn just the fan on at night when the temperature drops below 74 degrees to bring in the cold air and then shut if off once the outside air reaches 74 degrees?

Because this house is so tight, do I need to do anything different with my heating and Air?

Thnx

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weedmeister

Do you mean the AC fan or a fan in a window?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 5:03PM
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DickRNH

As a house is made more and more tight, for energy efficiency, you get to the point where you really need mechanical ventilation for human health reasons. You really shouldn't rely on air leakage to provide fresh air. A table in ASHRAE 62.2 tells you how much continuous air you need as a function of size and number of bedrooms. Here is a link:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hvac/msg0912413831345.html?1CHu6n

A blower door test is the only way to see just how leaky the house is. You'd divide the CFM at the standard 50 Pascals depressurization by a local factor to approximate natural leakage in cold windy weather. The tester would tell you what that factor would be for your area.

The problem with depending on leakage for fresh air in a tight house is that most of the time the leakage is nowhere near adequate. Further, you have no control over it. You can install passive air inlets, or if you are interested in energy savings, you can install a heat recovery ventilator.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 7:25PM
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DickRNH

That URL for the ASHRAE table should be:
http://www.mainegreenbuilding.com/files/file/Panasonic/ASHRAE%2062_2%20doc.pdf

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 7:33PM
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energy_rater_la

I agree with dickrhn,
you may need fresh air.

with fan on constantly the humdity
that is evaporated while a/c is running
is picked up and redistributed thru the
house when only fan is running.

if you test your house with a blower door
it will determine air changes per hour.
if your house is .35 ach or less fresh air
is required.
you've invested in the foam, saved a bundle
on the heatpump..so spend a little to make it
all work together.
there are many methods of adding fresh air to a home
erv's aircyclers, and my favorite...barometric damper
with duct to return ( return grill with filter outside).

you want to have comfort. so RH @ 50% is the goal.
dehumidifiers help to keep this level of r/h

best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 11:59AM
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chuckfh

Before you do all this blower door stuff. You need to look into the reason your Return Air is pulling the filters into the return grill "Pretty Hard" Your foam has nothing to do with your filters pulling hard! The air handler is self balancing. Air in equals Air out. This is assuming there are NO air leaks in the duct system. What happens is these filters are not matched to the proper cfm at the intakes. What is happening is...the speed of air [velocity] is not correct now. And the amount of air maybe too little. Choked off. You want air speed approx. 400-600 feet per minute at the return air intakes. high density filter should match the capabilities of the air handler and requirements of the hvac unit. 2.5 ton, approx, 560 cfm at both intakes if even. Or min. 20 X 25 each. this is my opinion.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 6:53PM
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badgerboilermn

If you foam your house you need a Energy Recovery Ventilator.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 5:20PM
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