I have a problem with my house such that with all my windows and doors closed the house smells and the air feels stale. I'm thinking of purchasing a high efficiency HVAC to vent the stale air out and blow fresh air in. Would a HVAC accomplish what I'm asking? Or is the only way to vent stale air out is to open the windows?

  • Does your house current have any kind of forced air system? Oct 4, 2012 at 12:00
  • I only have a heat fan that just basically blows hot air. They say that all I'm doing is just blowing the hot air inside the house around. It't not blowing fresh air and the stale air is not being blown out. HVAC companies I've been asking saying yes HVAC can do that but they are all trying to sell their products (Lennox, American Standard, Carrier, etc) I'm looking for an honest, unbias answer.
    – Richard
    Oct 4, 2012 at 12:06
  • How old is your house? It sounds like it's probably older, in which case, has it been recently upgraded to be air tight? Oct 4, 2012 at 12:13
  • Correct. The house is maybe over 50 years old. Before my time :). We've just renovated the place. So I'll need to get an HVAC with a built in air exchanger?
    – Richard
    Oct 4, 2012 at 12:16
  • Updated my answer, see below Oct 4, 2012 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


HVAC systems don't exchange air with the outside unless you specifically add an air exchanger. In older houses, this wasn't necessary because they leaked enough that you always got new fresh air coming in somewhere. With newer houses and recently fully renovated ones, the houses can indeed be sealed up so air tight that an air exchanger is necessary.

Based on your response, what it sounds like you have is an old house, recently renovated to be made air tight, with existing duct work and a furnace.

Based on that, you don't need a new HVAC system, you need an add on air-exchanger, such as this:

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Ducting will need to be added to the outside to allow this machine to suck in outside air and blow out inside air. This kind of device is, IMO, best installed connected to air return of your existing furnace so that fresh air can be injected, heated, and distributed thru the house.

  • I have another question regarding HVAC but this is not for my house. It's for a commercial building that I own. I'll create a new thread for this question but's it's regarding the same thing.
    – Richard
    Oct 4, 2012 at 12:30

HVAC may make a difference, especially if you buy an air filtration system with it, but I wouldn't buy one on that basis. You buy an HVAC if your house is too warm or too cold, not if the air is stale. For that I'd do a good cleaning, shampoo carpets, fix any damp problems, and buy a couple of portable HEPA air filters. Probably more effective, and certainly much less expensive than buying an HVAC!

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