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hvac & ventilation in very tight sip / icf house?

16 years ago

I have posted this in the HVAC forum as well, cross-posting here to get new-construction / building advice on same.

I am still quite some way away from actual construction, but I am planning a ICF/SIP based house and expect to be able to make the envelope very tight - very minimal air infiltration anywhere. In such situations, I am given to understand that I will need an air exchange system integrated with the HVAC system to bring in fresh air and remove stale air (since I can't rely on cracks around doors/windows to supply everything).

How about bathroom venting, or the stove vent? If one of the vents is trying to suck 500 cfm out of the house, how do I make sure that there is sufficient air coming into the house to replace it? I've heard that for the kitchen vent, you're always supposed to crack a nearby window to provide the replacement air, but if it's an internal, no-opening-windows bathroom (or -10 deg F outside) I don't see how that could work.

Are the air exchange systems incorporated into the HVAC designed to account for non-system-integrated venting as well? Are there heating / cooling / dehumidifying systems designed to treat this incoming replacement air too? Should a complete system design include some kind of external air intake for internal bathrooms, that can be "opened" when running a vent? I can't picture how that would be a good idea, but I also can't picture alternatives yet either.

Any thoughts?


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