Tips To Prevent Backdrafting In The House

Back drafting is one of the top safety hazards that can engulf a house. Today all homes have appliances that utilize combustion; fuel-fired water heaters, furnaces, boilers, and more. The dangerous greenhouses gases that are given out as a result of the combustion are made to go out of the house through the flue. Back drafting happens, when this system of sending the gas out breaks down. The gas which is supposed to be going out of the house comes in and diffuses in the living space. The problem occurs when the pressure difference been the outside the atmosphere and that of the house reduces. The indoor air pressure turns low. The combustion gases can be sucked back into the house and may even cause death to the occupants. Now what should do to detect and stop this?

• One of the harmful gases that are released as a result of the combustion is CO (Carbon Monoxide). It is also called a silent killer as its presence is difficult to trace. The lethal gas can only be detected by a mechanical detector. However you should know how to use it. This includes changing the batteries at regular intervals, replacing the unit, knowing what the various alarm sounds mean etc. You should know how to position it with respect to the furnace. It should not sit to close to it. Read the manual or contact your local fire department to know more.

• A gas water heater should not be placed in bedrooms or living rooms. If you have to, they should be placed in in a sealed enclosure. This is so that combustion air will not be taken from the living space. The installer should check for any gas leaks in the line, and of course, have vented it properly.

• Today we all stress upon air tight houss. This is to ensure that warm or cool air that makes us comfortable inside should not leak out. This will decrease the comfort level and also increase utility bills. But too much sweetness turns bitter. Similarly too tightly sealed house renders the perfect conditions to aggravate pre-existing back drafting issues.

• Defective flu installations, blockages in the flue are major reasons of back drafting. If you suspect back drafting call a home inspector to make sure that all your flues are installed properly. They should be optimally functional without any blockages..

• Always remodel your venting system when you upgrade you furnace. The old venting pipes may not suit the new model. An expert installer should know how to adapt the old venting to the new system. He would recommend you to install a new venting system if the old one will not work for the new model.

• When we replace our old furnace with a new and highly efficient model, we often leave the water heater to use the chimney all by itself. This is also called an orphaned water heater. This can cause backdrafting. Remember, the chimney was designed for the larger amount of flue gases. When the furnace goes and it is water heater sending exhaust gases out through it, then the temperature and pressure could be too low that the gases cannot often overcome the slug of cold air inside the chimney. As result the flue gases come back into the CAZ (combustion appliance zone).

• Factors such as running fans, duct leakage, improper air balancing, exhaust fans, central returns, and interior door (conditioned space manual damper) closure all contribute in reducing the pressure difference between the interior and exterior of the house. They have the potential to depressurize the combustion appliance zone (CAZ), as a result the flow of the gas through the chimney is reversed.




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