On Preheating of the Outdoor Ventilation Air Academic Article uri icon

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  • The growing popularity of buildings with integrated sub-systems requires a review of methods to optimize the preheating of ventilation air. An integrated system permits using geothermal heat storage parallel to the direct outdoor air intake with additional treatment in the mechanical room as a part of building an automatic control system. The earth–air heat exchanger (EAHX) has many advantages but also has many unanswered questions. Some of the drawbacks are: A possible entry of radon gas, high humidity in the shoulder seasons, and the need for two different air intake sources with a choice that depends on the actual weather conditions. In winter the EAHX may be used continuously to ensure thermal comfort, while in other seasons its operation must be automatically controlled. To generate missing information about EAHX technology we examined two nearly identical EAHX systems, one placed in the ground next to a building and the other under the basement slab. In another project, we reinforced the ground storage action by having a heat exchanger placed on the return pipes of the hydronic heating system. The information provided in this paper shows advantages of merging both these approaches, while the EAHX could be placed under the house or near the basement foundation that is using an exterior basement insulation.


  • Romanska-Zapala, Anna
  • Bomberg, Mark
  • Dechnik, Miroslaw
  • Fedorczak-Cisak, Malgorzata
  • Furtak, Marcin

publication date

  • January 1, 2020