On Wed, 05 Jan 2011 22:09:39 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Ours is 2" PVC pipe, as per the furnace manual (when I think of dryer
vent I think of 4" stuff, which might be overkill if the furnace doesn't
Oh, our home depot has a Kidde smoke alarm + CO alarm package at $26 at
the moment - not sure if it's a national offer. The CO alarm runs from AC
with battery backup, which is nice (although it won't take a rechargeable
battery and charge it)
A furnace with a 2" PVC vent works because it has a draft inducer to
pull the air
through the pipe and vent the exhaust back out. If the OP has a
furnace that works
with a traditional chimney, that size pipe isn't going to move enough
air to amount
My oil burner and LP gas water heater is in the basement under the
stairs in the center of the house.
That area is closed in and has a louvered folding door for access.
I do not have any fresh air access from the outside.
It has been that way for 26 years.
My office/workshop is in the basement and that is where I am at the moment.
I spend hours down here and have never seen or heard the burner or
heater gasping for air, nor have I ever felt any ill effects from a lack
Any air it needs is sucked out of the house from various openings
between the basement and the rest of the house up to the attic where the
flue passes through to the roof.
I smoke down here and I have a window mount double fan sucking air out
of the basement. When that fan is operating, I can smell what my wife is
cooking in the kitchen above by the aroma being sucked down, so any air
the heaters need can take the same path. I do have a wired CO detector
down here and it has never gone off.
I don't know what the code says about outside air access, but it wasn't
code when this house was built, so I'm grandfathered.
Old buildings were quite leaky and combustion air was not a problem.
Buildings have gotten tighter over the years, and for a new house here
(MN) now they are very tight I would certainly want a combustion air
intake (required by code anyway). Could be a problem with an older house
if air is being exhausted in some way (large exhaust fan, 30" living
space to attic exhaust fan, fireplace).
When the boiler was replaced here (in my leaky house) many years ago
they added a vent. It was a screened outside opening with a 6" flexible
duct. If the duct just goes down to the floor you can get cold air
coming in. If you bend it in a U so it goes down and then goes up it
forms a trap. I don't notice any cold air.
A CO detector is a real good idea in any case. The code here is near the
My old 1950's era house had a gas furnace/water heater. When they drew
cold air into the house mostly through the upstairs windows. Those
windows weren't all that great. I put a fresh air vent into the
furnace cold air plenum. This brought the outside air into the house
directly into the furnace where it was heated before moving into the
rest of the house to replace the air lost through combustion. What it
did was to reduce the cold drafts coming in through the windows
upstairs. I could have just brought the outside air into the furnace
room but didn't like the idea of -40 deg air dumping directly on the
I built my new house above code. It's almost twice as big as the old
one. The new house is heated with an electric furnace and of course
has an electric water heater. My highest monthly electric bill in the
new house is still lower than my winter monthly gas bill was in the
old place and I moved out of there four years ago. By the way I paid
as I used not payment on a equalized monthly budget.
You don't specify the basement layout. One room, closed. Door ?
You also do not specify the furnace. Closed system or partially
fan in/out or draft.
There are many many many basements without fresh air vents to the
Its typically leakage loses that vent. There are usually vents, or
on a room in the basement via the door via the upstairs.
Carbon monoxide detectors usually warn against putting them in the
but I would anyway as far from the furnace as possible.
How big is the room? Is it insulated ? How is it connected to the rest
of the building ? Are the ducts sealed, and are they insulated well ?
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