Does a packaged central A/C and Heat unit bring in outside air?

I have a central air and heating unit that is a single unit placed on the outside of a home. There is no air handler in the home. I know this unit has a single return air vent and various dispersal air vents for each room. My question is: Does it draw any air from the outside? I ask because my neighbor has an identical unit, my fear is that their exhaust air (with potential COVID) will get sucked into my air unit and get dispersed through my vents. Though perhaps unlikely, is that even possible? 

8 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    most brands do not.  they recirculate the air already in the house

  • y
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Some do have fresh air intakes and some do install fresh air intakes while installing duct work and such now a days, in certain place.

    Most residential units, do not have them.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    It might.  You need to contact the manufacturer and ask.  Your unit has a name and model number on a tag, inside the unit, somewhere.

  • arther
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    it would go and look on the roof if it has an economy cycle damper set or an out side air damper there are building rules about distances between exhaust ducts and fresh air intake ducts

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  • Droopy
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    Only if a fresh air intake vent is installed.  But that very unusual for residential.  There usually just on commercial equipment.   

    Honestly you'd probably be better served with a fresh air intake. It does decrease the efficiency a little.   But fresh air from outside is a good thing. and if it did the units usually don't exhaust the air unless it has a barometric damper on it.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    No.  The system only circulates the air inside the house.  There is no "exhaust"  or "vent mode" like in cars.  You should see the ducts going in and coming out of the whole unit. If you do not see external ducts (they are generally installed inside a metal ducting),  the ducting might be underground.  If you are not sure, go to the ceiling and follow the ducting on the return and dispersal vents. 

    You can also locate the condenser and follow the refrigerant lines connected to it.  It will lead you to the evaporator and the air handler.

  • Edwena
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Outside is the compressor.  It pressures up the refrigerant.   Inside is a furnace, a blower, an evaporator  coil and a plenum chamber.  There is an "expansion valve" on the evaporator coil that drops the pressure of the refrigerant that creates the cooling.  The blower blows air across the coil for cooling and through the furnace for heating.  The plenum chamber is just a big box to distribute the air into the ducts uniformly.  Of course on the other end is the air return where all of the air comes back into the unit to be recirculated.   In your rooms, you have air out ducts in the ceiling and in the hallway is the air return duct.  There is a filter in the air return that you are supposed to change out every couple of months. That filtered air going in, goes back to the unit in the attic where it goes through the cooling/heating and then back into the air ducts that come out in the room.  So, it is one big cycle of air inside your house.  Of course, your house leaks air out (it is a positive pressure) and so the replacement air comes in from outside through the furnace vent in the roof.  Or you clothes dryer vent.   Or your cook stove vent.  Or your water heater vent. Or your bathroom exhaust vent.   Look at your roof and you will see vent stacks.  So, if you don't want any air coming in, you can't have any air going out.  The way to do that is turn off the air conditioner.

  • 4 weeks ago

    you can't make air with nothing, and you can't cool or heat literally nothing. the air has to come from somewhere, and it's not like any a/c unit is going to create its own air

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