Installing a central air filter

Now that I fixed the water........ :-) I want to fix the poor air quality in the house. The house is about 15 yo and is an r2000 house--unfortunately it is sealed tight and no air gets in (not even a roof air system). There is no ductwork. We all wake up every morning sneezing and runny noses. Could someone explain approx how to go about putting in a central system that would clean the air? How much would this cost(I'm Canadian)? Or should I just buy a HEPA filter for each bedroom? Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated. THanks in advance Kris
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What's going on here? An R2K house with 1.5 ACH max at 50 Pa leaks about 1.5/20 = 0.075 naturally, vs 0.7 for an average US house, so a 2400ft^2x8' R2K house would have 0.075x2400x8/60 = 24 cfm, vs the 15 cfm/occupant ASHRAE standard. Maybe this house is tighter, or Kris doesn't use the exhaust fan.

Surveys show that R2K people are happier and healthier than others, but some don't realize they need positive ventilation. Where do all the sneezings and runny noses come from? Dust, mold, formaldehyde?
Excessive humidity would likely be a problem in an overly airtight or under- ventilated house, given Andersen's estimate that a typical family of 4 evaporates 2 gallons per day of water inside a house. We might open upper and lower windows when humidity increases?

Smart house ventilation might use the lowest-energy-cost strategy among several, based on the needs of the house and the weather:
1. Run a dehumidifier in the basement.
This would provide useful heat in wintertime, but it might be cheaper to bring in cold outdoor air and provide some extra non-electric heat for the house.
2. Air condition the basement in wintertime, with the cold side of a window AC in an enclosed basement stairwell and the warm side in the upstairs living space.
This could also provide wintertime heat, but it might be too loud.
3. Move basement air outdoors and outdoor air into the basement.
Like the Humidex, but with little heating penalty in wintertime, if the cold air stays in the basement.
We could also store coolth in the basement this way in summertime, below the comfort temp, and circulate air between the basement and the living space during the day to keep the living space cool with no ventilation to the outdoors.
4. Move basement air outdoors and outdoor air into the house.
On a warm dry winter day...
5. Run an air conditioner in the house.
If the house is too humid and outdoor air is too hot or more humid.
6. ...
If indoor and outdoor humidity ratios were equal, we might ventilate with outdoor air to bias the house temp warmer in winter and cooler in summe within comfort zone limits to store more useful heat and coolth in the thermal mass of the house. If the air temps were equal, we might want to keep the house RH closer to 40 than 60%, storing dryness in the house materials...

They use a lot more electrical energy than Envirosept units:
Aqua Air Technologies, Inc. 3137 Cabin Run, Woodbine, MD 21797 800-854-5126 Fax: 800-489-4186 snipped-for-privacy@envirosept.com http://envirosept.com/aircleaners.html
You can make an inexpensive standalone version by duct-taping a 20" square filter to the suction side of a 20" window box fan.
Nick
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The R2K spec is now mostly performance-oriented. It says what needs to happen vs how to achieve it. An exhaust fan in a somewhat air-leaky house can be a lot less expensive than an HRV in a more airtight house. A 2400ft^2x8' R2K house that leaks 1.5 ACH (480 cfm) at 50 Pa (0.2" of water) might be vented easily with a small exhaust fan with a one-day damper.
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/r-2000/standard/whole-house-ventilation.cfm?attr=4
That says "R2000 homes use HRVs." It does not say "R2000 homes must use HRVs." Some use exhaust fans ("a mechanical ventilation system") instead. They must have a min capacity and at least two speeds and a manual switch to turn them on that can override other controls. Some R2K houses in Ontario have had air quality problems because the owners didn't use the "principal exhaust fan," mainly because nobody told tham that was needed.
You might look at the R2K standard itself, and the standards it references...
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/r-2000/standard/current/purpose.cfm?attr=4
5.2.1 Design, Installation and Balancing of Ventilation Systems - Mechanical ventilation systems shall be designed, installed and balanced in accordance with CAN/CSA-F326-M91 Residential Mechanical Ventilation Systems...
The National Building Code of Canada 1995 Section 9.32.3.1
Required Ventilation
prescribes that every dwelling unit that is supplied with electrical power shall be provided with a mechanical ventilation system complying with:
CAN/CSA-F326 or the balance of Section 9.32.3
The following paragraphs describe the types of ventilation systems and their requirements.
Firstly, all types require the "room count" method of determining a Total Ventilation Capacity (TVC). Using a combination of continuous (principal) and intermittant (supplemental) fans, the mechanical ventilation system must be capable of operating at the TVC.
Type 9.32.3 (NBC95)
9.32.3 requires that a Principal Exhaust fan must provide at least 50% of TVC. A fan capable of supplying 75% or more of the TVC must have a control to allow switching to 45 to 55% of TVC. If this fan exhausts only the kitchen, a vented range hood is not required but bathroom fans are. If this fan serves more than one room, a vented range hood is needed in the kitchen. Bath fans are required only when the bathroom is not served by this principal exhaust. The principal exhaust fan must be capable of continuous ventilation (not a range hood). Section 9.32.3.10(5) requires kitchen exhaust be filtered.
Code required range hoods must be capable of exhausting 100 cubic feet per minute (CFM) and not exceed 3.5 Sones (Noise level). Code required bath fans must be at least 50CFM and not exceed 2.0 Sones. Be careful with HVI labels. An HVI label indicates the fan has been tested. It does not mean it meets the requirements of NBC. Bath fans and range hoods that are not part of the required ventilation do not have to meet these requirements.
Fresh air equal to 50% of the TVC is required with distribution via ducts to all bedrooms and all levels without bedrooms. See Section 9.32.3.7. It must be linked by controls to the principal exhuast fan and tempered (heated) to 12 degrees C before entering the living space. Make-up air is required if protection from depressurization is necessary.Section 9.32.3.8.
F326 Installations
F326 requires that a ventilation system be capable of providing supply air (fresh) at least equal to the TVC. This ventilation system must be equipped with a means to adjust the ventilation rate to less than the TVC. The system must provide kitchen exhaust equal to either a continuous 60 CFM or intermittent 100 CFM. The system must provide bathroom exhuast equal to a continuous 20 CFM or intermittent 50 CFM. Make-up air is required if protection from depressurization is necessary.
Type R2000
R2000 uses F326 as a basis for ventilation capacity and requires the items listed above plus the following: -TVC is the higher of the "room count" or F326 total continuous exhaust (60CFM kitchen, 20CFM bath) -Kitchen exhaust must be filtered. -Actual TVC must be within 15% of calculated TVC. -Low speed operation must be 40-60% of TVC...
Nick
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Nick
In many jurisdictions in Canada, just to meet code, HRVs are mandatory. This is to meet code. R2000 exceeds building codes. I worked on numerous R2000 homes and even built proto type equipment for an Advanced Home that lost government funding after an election/change of Provincial Government. The Advanced Home Program was even 'greener' and more energy efficient than R2000.
R2000 homes have HRVs. Please research and show me a certified R2000 home without one.
Curious you bring up F326 Installations, as they typically exceed what ASHRAE requires. It is typically 10 CFM per habitable room, 20 cfm for a master bedroom and 20 CFM for an unfinished basement. Works out to about 0.3 air changes an hour usually when there are not a lot of vaulted ceilings etc. As you state, this standard sets the ventilation rate.
Point exhaust systems meeting F326 such as bathroom fans, range hoods, and humidex's controlled by dehumidistats, central switches and or timers WILL NOT cut it for a house to be R2000 certified.
R2000 homes CAN also have bathroom fans and range hoods to serve as intermittent exhausts to disperse odors. A home could have an F326 rate of 120 CFM, and with air being exhausted from a kitchen, a couple baths, a laundry area etc, would mean an average exhaust rate of 30 CFM from each area. 30 CFM from a large master bath after a mexican buffet would take a while to clear the air, therefore exhaust fans CAN be used for quick removal of odours.
The first link I gave clearly states R2000 homes use "state of the art" HRV ventilation.
The mechanical contractor for an R2000 home has to submit a worksheet showing the F326 calculation and the make/model/capacity of the HRV being installed and a report on the balancing as part of the R2000 certification process.
My home town adopted this same system of forms/reports to ensure ventialtion met F326 and this was just to meet code, not R2000. If any appliance in the home used a B-Vent, then regular homes had to have an HRV.
I believe I gave you a typical R2000 ACH of 0.07 a while ago on another thread, its nice to see you like demonstrate your knowledge of Blower door rate divided by 20, you were in the ball park.
snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/r-2000/standard/whole-house-ventilation.cfm?attr=4
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-homes/r-2000/standard/current/purpose.cfm?attr=4
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And in some parts of the US. A waste of money, IMO.

Sure. Some do, but you wrote:

No thanks. You said they all do, and I posted part of the R2K standard, which does not require HRVs or ERVs. You were wrong. End of discussion.
Unless you'd like to argue that an HRV is cheaper to buy and run than an exhaust fan, in an R2K house... :-) Nick
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snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/r2000/R-2000_Ventilation.cfm
I guess you missed the part where it states "R-2000 homes are required to have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV)".
All you know is what you have gleaned from the internet, too funny.

Not cheaper to buy at all, just cheaper to operate. They fit right in with all of your schemes to save energy, with the main difference being they are proven to work.
You have to be an electrical engineer :)

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http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/r2000/R-2000_Ventilation.cfm

Nope. I just read and posted the current R2000 standard.
Nick
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I guess you can interpret the standard until you can convince yourself that you actually know something.
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/Publications/infosource/pub/r2000/BreatheFactEng.cfm
Scroll down to "Mechanical ventilation beats out mould" and then scroll further to read "In an R-2000 home, stale humid air is removed and replaced by clean, fresh air with a mechanical ventilation system called a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV for short."
If you had only been involved in the design of an R2000 home or had actually seen one yourself, you would know the HRV requirement.
Instead you just give out misinformation of something you know little about.
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Abby, Anybody that would actually call Nick for any HVAC work would probably also be calling a proctologist to do their dental work.

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Any chance you meet the following qualification? Maybe ask some one esle who is if you do not believe me.
5.2.1 Design, Installation and Balancing of Ventilation Systems - Mechanical ventilation systems shall be designed, installed and balanced in accordance with CAN/CSA-F326-M91 Residential Mechanical Ventilation Systems by an HRAI-certified Residential Mechanical Ventilation Designer or Installer, or an R-2000-recognized equivalent.
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Read the Part about Ventilation in R2000 homes
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/r2000/R-2000_Ventilation.cfm
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