Does your Monmouth County home have a gas-fired water heater or furnace? If so, it’s essential to know that this equipment may be posing a risk to your family’s health and well-being. For a safe home air supply, it may be advisable to build a sealed combustion closet to house these appliances.
Understanding the Safety Risks of Your Combustion Equipment
Water heaters and furnaces are frequently installed inside of a home’s conditioned living space, and pull in the air necessary for combustion from their surroundings. To allow exhaust to exit, the appliances are connected to a flue that vents outdoors. This kind of configuration poses a safety risk in two ways:
- Backdrafting of water heater fumes. Combustion air being pulled from inside your home and sent outdoors can cause negative pressure that lets exhaust fumes backdraft from the vent pipe. This also causes incomplete fuel combustion, which can add deadly carbon monoxide to the air supply.
- Negating a key furnace safety feature. Your furnace has a sensor to detect pressure changes caused by backed up exhaust fumes. If the water heater vent is connected to the furnace flue, that safety sensor may not read pressure properly, which can allow noxious trapped fumes to backdraft into your home through the shared vent pipe.
How a Sealed Combustion Closet Protects Your Air Supply
When the water heater and furnace are enclosed in a combustion closet, backdrafted exhaust fumes won’t be able to enter the air supply. To function effectively, your closet must:
- Be self-contained and sealed completely so air can’t escape into the conditioned living space.
- Have an access door equipped with a tight threshold and weatherstripping to prevent possible air leakage.
- Have all ceiling and wall penetrations completely air sealed.
- Have dual combustion air inlets, with one terminating a foot below the ceiling, and the other a foot above the floor.
- Have air intakes sized to match the combined appliance capacity. The requirement is one square inch of intake size per 4,000 Btu of input capacity.
For expert assistance creating a safe home air supply, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.