Want to know what one of the more common misconceptions there is surrounding a home and the efficiency of its heating and cooling systems? Filling in all ‘cracks’ and making your home virtually a sealed unit. In many ways, your home is like a living, breathing organism – it needs a flow of air, albeit slight and in some cases controlled, to be not only healthy, but efficient.
Allow for a simple scientific explanation – one that most will quickly understand without the need to hire rocket scientists or going back to school. A furnace burns fuel to heat a house. The fuel must mix with air in order to combust properly. When the burner on a conventional furnace or boiler fires up, it draws air into a combustion chamber. From there the exhaust gases are then vented outside. Any air coming into this chamber and then up the fluepipe has to come from somewhere. This air must be ‘made up’ – or simply, replaced.
In supposedly poorly weatherized houses, this air can enter through the any size of gap in the building’s exterior. These gaps are called ‘paths of least resistance.’ So, if you were to close these pathways, where does make-up air come from?
Now, should you tighten up your home’s exterior and do not make provisions to provide a source of make-up air, the air will likely be drawn down different pathways. One of these might be the water heater’s fluepipe. If a furnace or boiler cannot access enough of this air, it will draw make-up air from the heater’s fluepipe. At that point, potentially dangerous combustion by-products produced by the water heater are vented back down the fluepipe and into the house.
Anything that pushes air out of the house will reduce the inside air pressure. The more airtight a house, the greater the potential there is for back drafting.
Regardless, always consult your furnace or boiler service person before you do any ‘tightening’ of your home’s shell. Depending upon the age of your home, you may, or may not already have a make-up air pipe.
At aplusair.ca Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation they want to help you make informed decisions when it comes to the comfort and enjoyment of your home. With expert staff and second-to-none service, they can provide all your residential, commercial or institutional heating and cooling solutions. For more information, visit www.aplusair.ca.