from a canadian study, when a house has poor air quality it is one of the main reasons for general illness and fatigue. this is caused by the house being too tight. carbon dioxide builds up in the house and makes people ill. this is not to mention the off gassing of OSB, teflon stain repellant, pvc coating on just about everything, and the list goes on... anyway, it is near impossible to build a new house in non rural canada without installing one of these air to air heat exchangers. they basically bring in fresh air into the house by heating it with the exhaust air leaving the house.
this presents problems with combustion in the house. it affects gas stove operation, wood stoves and especially fire places. they over come these issues by putting a positive pressure on the house. basically the house is slightly pressurized by a big (part of the heat exchanger) fan. then when an exhaust is necessary, like while cooking, there is ample air and positive pressure so that the smoke can easily exit.
well, this is usually only necessary where "air tight" conditions exist. we don't have that problem here in our little house. it is windy and cold outside today and it is all too apparent where all that necessary woodstove combustion air is coming from. we obviously get plenty of fresh air in our little house.
the front door is old and has many window panes. it is fairly attractive and we don't intend on replacing it. the front room window, we'll eventually replace it but for now it's extra ventilation. the broken window panes in the kitchen, which used to go outside but now display our add-on utility room, they are high on our agenda. the sliding glass door at the back of the house, this is where the eventual add-on master bedroom will go. we won't replace that with a new door we'll just build a whole new room there. that is about it. the rest of the house is pretty tight. so worst case scenario if everything were fixed we'd still have the front door, which we plan to keep as is, for ventilation.
maybe well eventually get a heat exchanger but for now it's not needed.
tabitha and the kids are getting better. thanks for the well wishes and good thoughts. i am working on website stuff today. last night i figured out how to get that little icon next the url without designing completely in css. www.omelay.com/cob has my test icon it's a little logo for the site that i'm working on. it wasn't really that big of deal except that i'd never done it before.
we'll probably get some fencing done today. engarde....