GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

ERV intake location

user-7068173 | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

I am almost done with a new build and am worried about my ERV intake location. House has a hip roof and all exhaust are on the backside of roof except the erv intake which is placed on the side of the hip roof. I do not have adequate room to go out any side walls. Should I worry about the erv intake drawing asphalt shingle gases into the house? Currently there is just a standard broan black roof vent cover with the damper taken out for the intake.

Thanks so much

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    You are right to be worried. Most experts advise against locating a fresh air intake for a ventilation system on an asphalt roof. In hot weather, your "fresh" air will smell.

    Time to come up with Plan B. You need a wall-mounted air intake.

    Your question is a reminder to GBA readers: if you are building a new home, you need to plan for ducts at the design stage, before construction begins. For more information on this issue, see Plan Ahead For Insulation.

  2. calum_wilde | | #2

    When you do find a place to put it other than the roof, DO NOT put it near an outside light. We were cleaning bugs out of our HRV about once every two weeks and for a time put a screen of the intake to reduce the maintenance time to a quick couple of minutes with a shop vac, about once a week. I eventually move the intake vent hood to the rim joist on anther wall.

    I was worried putting a 6" hole in 2x10 wouldn't be within code so I talked to the local permit office to make sure. It is, I just had to make sure the hole was centered in the wood.

  3. Trevor_Lambert | | #3

    Calum, how close was the intake to the light? Mine is slated to be about 4' from a light. I'm not sure I have the option to move the intake, but I could perhaps move the light to the opposite side of the door.
    Edit: On second thought, I believe it's the exhaust that will be 4' from the light.

  4. calum_wilde | | #4


    Originally the intake was only a few inches from the light. 4' would likely be enough to avoid any major issues, though that's a guess. The HVAC company my builders subcontracted to were idiots. Pure, unadulterated, idiots. For example, during one change I made to the system I removed 19 bends while making the HRV easier to access for maintenance. Surprisingly air flow went up dramatically after I did that...

  5. Trevor_Lambert | | #5

    Sounds almost as if they thought a lot of bends was a goal, or making the HRV inaccessible was a goal (or both). Do you have before and after pictures?

  6. Expert Member

    "The HVAC company my builders subcontracted to were idiots. Pure, unadulterated, idiots."

    "Sounds almost as if they thought a lot of bends was a goal"

    Thanks guys. A good morning chuckle before heading out to work.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |