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Community and Q&A

Erv and neighbor’s wood burning pit?

Roger_S39 | Posted in General Questions on

What do people usually do when they have an erv and their home starts to smell of burnt wood due to a neighbor with an outdoor fire pit?

Is it possible to simply close an erv or would that cause problems to the unit etc.?

Are there special types of filters or settings on a unit to manage such a situation?

Thank you.

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    An activated carbon filter will help with the smell, but it will need frequent changing to stay effective.


  2. tommay | | #2

    Or, you could turn off your ERV and go over and join your neighbors for some nice fresh night time air and some good conversation and laughs while sitting by the open fire.

  3. Expert Member
    Akos | | #3

    From what I remember reading, the recommendation for wood smoke is a HEPA filter. Some units can get the standard filter switched out for a HEPA one.

    The simplest solution is to turn off the unit, this does not get rid of the smell already in the house.

    You can alternatively block off the supply duct (manual or motorized damper works just fine) which will make the unit operate in exhaust only mode. This way it won't bring in the smoke, but the exhaust will still help clear any smells that made it into the house.

    The best solution is move the fresh air pickup. I generally find along the side, near the front of the house the best spot. This also keeps it further away from the potential BBQs. If it there is a driveway, best use the other side or make sure to place it high on the wall to avoid pulling in car exhaust.

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #4

      HEPA will get smoke particulates, but not always the smell. Activated carbon will get the smell, but clogs pretty quickly if it is exposed to a lot of particulates. There are some filters that use both. Aprilaire makes some (their allergen line), but I don’t think they make them for anything except their HVAC type air filtration units.


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