An unusual problem for sure and my HVAC contractor (or anyone else in the business) has not been able to figure out a solution. I thought I would reach out to a larger group of experts that may know a bit more.
Simple goal: to have the fresh air intake be turned on ONLY when the AC/Heat/Fan modes are engaged. NOT a preset time per hour, and NOT run the fan to make up time that the system was not running. Very simply, when the HVAC fan is running, the fresh air damper opens.
Currently using a the April Aire controller/damper connected from an outside air source to the return plenum. A Lennox Pure Air system with the 20x25x5 carbon Marv16 filter was also included in the new HVAC system, as were new ducting.
The reasons for this are a bit more complex, for the outside air in the front of house, especially during the evenings is contaminated from a nearby septic system venting to atmosphere. These noxious chemicals accumulate in concentration at a lower section in the front of our house and infiltrate the home through the window vents, facia board gaps and entry door. Although the attempt of using the fresh air system was to "pressurize" the house, it is clearly insufficient to overcome the leaking of the system in the attic (BTW, that passed the HERS test, and I was told ALL HVAC systems "leak").
The chemical off-gassing has not yet been deemed above legal standards, although the concentrated effect that makes it way into our house makes your nose run, and irritates your throat and lungs. Just uncomfortable to breath. When the evenings were warm, outside the home is just horrible. Without legal council, and lots of $$$$, we are screwed. So it may be just better to resolve the issue through strategic ventilation. Mold testing shows no mold.
By using the fresh air intake ONLY when the system is running, it minimizes the negative pressure caused by the HVAC and reduces the bad air being drawn in. The furnace is an Amana AMES800804BU. The board has connections for an external humidifier (24V) and electronic air cleaner (120v), however after review of the circuit, it would appear these are always on connections and not on when the system fan is running. Connecting a relay to the FAN call from the thermostat will work for fan mode, but will do nothing for AC or HEAT where the fan runs at a different speed.
I have several decades of experience with mechanical engineering and machine design.