I have an oil furnance in my basement, which is also where I want to
place my woodshop. My concerns are not over blowing up the house.
They are over the air quality of the rest of my home.
I have no problem turning off the furnance when I am in the shop,
'cause it's my home and mine alone! But what about dust particles
being sent into the rest of my home where I won't be wearing a HEPA
mask when the furnance is on.
Will the open flames of the oil burning make that a non issue?
Frankly, I don't know how the internal parts of an oil burning furnance
work other than the oil is sprayed out and set on fire. So, I don't
know if the air passes through the flams thus litterally burning
anything that would be in the air or if it passes through heated
baffels or something.
Granted, I have a filter on the furnance, but I think that is on the
A furnace like you are describing takes indoor air and draws it into the
furnace to support combustion. The heat produced by combustion is transfered
through a metal heat exchanger and the vented outside through a flue to
prevent carbon monoxide from getting into the house. The air that goes
through the filter will be pulled into a fan and then blown through the
house along with any dust that makes it pass the filter. My shop is in the
garage, but in your situation I would consider installing pleated filters as
a minimum. Even with pleated filters you will still see some of the smaller
particles make it through and into the rest of the house.
I have a gas (forced air) furnace in the basement at the opposite
end of my workshop for 15+ years. I have
not had any problems with excessive dust in
the rest of the house, but I do have a dust collector
on the machines and try to exercise caution where
MDF is always a problem, no matter what you do, but
most normal woodworking should be ok. Try to cut
MDF outdoors if possible.
I will admit that using a pleated filter has helped
in this regard too. SWMBO said that she noticed a
significant difference over the cheap fiber type
All the air going through the house will go through the filter. You want to
change them frequently to avoid obstructions. I'd also consider building or
buying an air filter and use it in the work area. It will suck up much of
the loose particles that the DC does not get.
Combustion air and heated air shouldn't mix. Your cold air return supplies
air to the exchanger, where it is heated and returned to the dwelling.
Filtered in between. Thus, if you've got sawdust in your house, dollars to
dogturds it's from your feet, not the furnace. If from the furnace, you've
got some major leaks to tape over.
If your burner draws and mixes combustion air from the inside of the
dwelling, you can control and filter the intake if you'd like, but I believe
the problems of a clogged filter not allowing enough combustion air
outweighs the inconvenience of an occasional vacuuming. Oil burners are not
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