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[#] Wed Dec 03 2008 18:18:14 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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So I'm pondering this idea again:
I'm standing in my basement and 3 feet to my left is my oil boiler boiling away. 8 feet to my right is my fancy new A/C forced air blower.
I figure all I need is a heat exchanger, I take the low pressure side of the forced air blower run that too the heat exchanger, and take the high pressure side of the heat exchanger and run it to the high pressure side of the forced air bloew.
I figure if the air is warm enough it will circulate through the vents by themselves and I won't even have to turn the blower on, but lets say I do, I need a way to trigger the blower based on the on/off of the heat exchanger fan.
How hard could this really be?

[#] Wed Dec 03 2008 18:28:05 EST from Peter Pulse @ Uncensored

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I don't get it, isn't your oil burner already distributing the heat into the house some other way? And, A/C vents for forced air A/C usually output ear the ceiling whereas with heat you want to release the warm air down low.

[#] Wed Dec 03 2008 19:38:52 EST from Freakdog @ Dog Pound BBS II

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Self-managed is tough if you have a lot of homes. Very tough. And
you lose out on a lot of deals that management companies can cut with

vendors (for things like snow removal, repairs, etc). But you
definately have a lot more power, and a lot better service overall, if

you hire a decent manager.

I hope it's worth the expense... presuming you're hiring *someone* to

help manage things. If you're not, and just intend to do everything as

board members, well... looks like a lot of work is headed your way.

Most of the deals that the management companies cut with the vendors favor the management companies and the vendors, not the HOA.

We've got exactly 5 monthly bills, and we're only 69 homes. We can't afford the cost of a management company, anymore...especially when they're doing exactly the opposite what we, as a board, are telling them to do.

[#] Wed Dec 03 2008 20:02:23 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Well, every situation is unique.  Five monthly bills doesn't seem too bad, I guess.  Again, we have 222 homes, so the scale is pretty different.

Certainly, though, if they're not doing what you are instructing them to do, it's time to find someone else.  Unless they have a good reason not to do what you're asking (like, it's illegal or something), management companies are supposed to be subordinate to the association, not the other way around.

Still, if you want another crack at a management company, I can recommend Legum and Norman.  At least in this area, they did a relatively decent job, and I had a chance to see how they work internally.  They seem to really care about doing what they should.

[#] Wed Dec 03 2008 23:23:07 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Ford: I'm also not sure what you're trying to accomplish here. Are you looking to use the forced air system to add more distribution capacity to your oil-fired system?

As far as wiring goes, nearly all HVAC components are switched by 24 volt relays, so it's usually possible to get anything to switch anything else.
Worst case scenario is that you add one more relay, which is often what happens when you add A/C to an existing forced air heating plant.

A few years ago when we were having a particularly cold winter and my furnace (an oil-fired system with hot water baseboards) was running a lot, I noticed that the stack was really hot all the time, so I aimed a small tabletop fan at it and ran the fan at the lowest setting. It did a remarkably good job at heating the basement with just the waste heat that was being pumped up the stack. I started dreaming up a more sophisticated system with heat sink fins welded to the stack and a 24 volt fan that would only blow when the furnace was running. I ended up not doing it because the weather warmed up shortly afterwards, and then the next two winters were fairly mild. But it's an idea I may revisit someday.

[#] Fri Dec 05 2008 10:33:37 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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volt fan that would only blow when the furnace was running. I ended up

not doing it because the weather warmed up shortly afterwards, and then

the next two winters were fairly mild. But it's an idea I may revisit


Exactly, but they make a gizmo that does exactly that with a fan built in triggered off the temperature, and the heat exchanger sits inline in your exhaust vent.
See I don't believe in "waste heat". I do believe that at some point it becomes uneconomical to make use of that heat, but right now I'm sure that's not the case.
My A/C unit's vents are in the floors in my house because all the venting is in the basement crawlspace because there was nowhere else to go.
My oil burner heats up steam radiators throughout my house, but it seems to me an awful lot of heat leaves my chimney. I want some of that back.
I'm trying to find a large enough gizmo that will really get some reasonable amount of heat out of the chimney exhaust. They definetly make them, but the ones I've seen are kinda small, and most of them are intended for wood burning stoves.
My plan was to make use of the brand new duct work that runs through my house to distribute this newfound heat, but I realize it's a lot of effort and not neccesary, I can get away with punching another hole in the basement ceiling and running my own vent just for this thing.
I just need to find a oil burner exhaust heat exchanger.

[#] Fri Dec 05 2008 14:19:13 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Any pointers to residential flue heat recovery gizmos? I'd like to check them out before I try to build something (less efficient) on my own. The only ones I can find seem to be designed to heat water.

[#] Fri Dec 05 2008 19:45:13 EST from Harbard @ Uncensored

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You know that could cause a problem.  Combustion gasses plus water vapor equals a very corrisive substance.  If you cool the flue gasses too much you will get a condensation forming that will wreck all the sheet metal in your system....unless you have stainless...which you probably don't.  Stainless flues are made for low temperature exhaust.  Thaey are also quite expensive.  When my current water heater dies, I am replacing it with a tankless heater.  That requires a stainless flue because of the lower temperatures.

[#] Fri Dec 05 2008 23:10:50 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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good to know wouldn't have thought of that.
I guess that's why they use pvc for low temperature exhaust..
Although I can't really imagine this thing will work so effciently that it will cool the exhaust that much

[#] Sat Dec 06 2008 10:14:40 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Excellent point, Harbard. I'm pretty sure that most of the stack in my house is clay, except for the last 18 inches or so, where the exhaust from the furnace comes up, makes a 90 degree turn, and then feeds into the stack right next to it. In any case, the point about not cooling it down too much is well taken. I guess I won't attempt to do any serious heat exchanging, but a simple fan blowing on that last 18 inches of aluminum duct shouldn't cool it down enough to make a difference, right?

[#] Sat Dec 06 2008 13:19:12 EST from Harbard @ Uncensored

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well....I only sorta, kinda know what I am talking about.  You need to keep the temperature above "sulfuric acid dewpoint".  Unfortuanatley, this varies depending on volume, ambient temperature, and moisture content.  Wanna get technical?  Go here:


Trouble is everything is geared towards big ass industrial stuff.  I suspect in the home, everything is "rule of thumb".  I have an engineer friend of mine looking into it.  



This is overkill for monitoring it:

[#] Thu Dec 11 2008 22:14:42 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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am I reading this right?

[#] Fri Dec 12 2008 01:32:05 EST from Harbard @ Uncensored

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That unit is for whole house ventilation.  In fact required for new construction.  Supposedly, new homes are so airtight you need active ventilation.  This recovers the heat from the warm inside air by passing it over the incoming cool air.  Or vice versa in the summer.

"...air laden with toxic fumes, odors or radon from homes." is pretty much the same hype you see in the late night infomercials trying to sell some new amazing air purifier.


The efficiency numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt too.  They are calculated under ideal conditions.  Your mileage may vary. 

In any case, this is not the sort of thing you were writing about earlier.

[#] Fri Dec 12 2008 01:32:50 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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As to reading it wrong how?

[#] Fri Dec 12 2008 07:55:01 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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yeah, when I read air laden with toxic fumes" I was thinking, okay, oil burner exhaust, but I only saw 2 tubes, and I don't see how you can clean the oil burner exhaust enough to be breathable.
I want one of those with 2 sets of input/output.

[#] Fri Dec 12 2008 08:14:39 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Q: How much power does the Airiva use?
A: The power consumption is about the same as a 100 Watt light bulb.

Sooooooo... about 100 watts, then?

[#] Fri Dec 12 2008 08:15:30 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Oh, and for those of us who live in underinsulated homes that aren't airtight ... we need some sort of anti-Airiva :)

[#] Fri Dec 12 2008 14:31:06 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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25' of faceless r-30 at home depot $15.00

[#] Sun Dec 14 2008 16:11:58 EST from Harbard @ Uncensored

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But please remember:  Insulation (faced or unfaced) does not stop air infiltration.  Air infiltration is your greatest source of heat loss.  So caulk and seal air leaks first, then add extra insulation.

[#] Sun Dec 14 2008 16:23:13 EST from triLcat @ Uncensored

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still haven't started shutting the windows at night in my room.

The baby's window is closed at night now, and she wears a blanket sleeper.

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