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I have recently completed my new home. I was successful in making it air tight. Now I need controlled ventilation.

Charles Cloud | Posted in Mechanicals on

I have a commercial range. The pilot lights give off enough CO to set of the CO detectors after 18 hrs. I have a vent hood with make up air but of course this does not run when the range is off. The home air is also stale. I want to install an HRV. From an energy efficiency standpoint would i be better off to install a stand alone unit or one that ties to my air handler. I live in Wyoming and the home is 2300 sq. ft.. Thank you in advance for the advise.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Did you ever wonder why commercial ranges are called "commercial"? For a great many reasons, including fire safety reasons, range hood design reasons, and makeup air reasons, commercial ranges don't belong in homes. (But it's too late to convince you to switch to a residential range, I imagine.)

    In general, you want to settle on the details of your ventilation system at the design stage, not after your airtight home is already built.

    I suggest that you start by reading these two articles. After you read these articles, feel free to post follow-up questions on this page.

    Designing a Good Ventilation System

    Makeup Air for Range Hoods

  2. Joel Cheely | | #2

    Commercial or not, your range should not be emitting CO, as CO is not produced by a gas flame that is properly adjusted.. I've had a 20,000 BTU unvented gas heater running for hours that never set off either CO detector in the house. Suggest you have your range looked at. Soon.

  3. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #3

    I'd add a third article to Martin's list:

    Because of the problems Martin alluded to, most "commercial" stoves you see in residences are actually just designed to look like their restaurant counterparts, but have features like electronic ignition and allow them to forego pilot lights. Real commercial ranges and ovens, designed for the demands of line cooking, are extraordinarily inefficient and consume a lot gas when not in use.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    If you have a gas appliance expert check your stove's functioning, don't be surprised if the technician tells you that your installation is illegal. In many jurisdictions, building codes don't allow the installation of commercial ranges in residences.

  5. Charles Cloud | | #5

    I was fully aware of the drawbacks to a commercial range (except for this CO issue). I cleared this with the building inspector and my insurance company. Martin it seems from an energy perspective an stand alone HRV would be my best bet. Would exhausting from two bedrooms and the open living room/kitchen and supplying fresh air back to living area be enough? I have full access to theses areas from the crawl space.

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    If you have an appliance in your house that is generating enough carbon monoxide to set off your CO alarm, you and your family are at risk of death.

    I'm not going to provide advice on a ventilation system under these circumstances. If you can't fix the pilot lights, it's time to get rid of the range. It's dangerous.

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