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Furnace Ventilation Tips

Heating and HVAC
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Furnace ventilation is essential to a home because it ensures a constant supply of fresh air that will be exchanged, heated and put back into your home. Just as you wouldn't want your home to be too drafty, you don't want it to lack ventilation as well. Here are some steps to ensure a good balance:

 

  • Be sure to fully research your existing or new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in order to determine if it's capable of meeting your home's needs.
  • Establish whether you have or want furnace ventilation that pulls air from the home or from the outside (direct vent). You then need to determine the level of ventilation you require, which depends on the structure of your home.
  • If depending on your vents for a proper exchange, make sure they are up to par, free of damage or blockage. You may need to consider a system with a built-in heat exchanger powered by a combustion chamber for the best furnace ventilation.
  • Be sure to replace your furnace filters regularly. About half of service calls to furnace repairmen are because of dirty filters. Be sure to invest in a high quality vent that meets your individual needs, especially if someone in the home is prone to allergies. Disposable or washable filters are available that filter out larger contaminants, but they could still catch allergens. Another consideration is a pleated filter, but high efficiency ones are quite expensive.
  • Be sure you have exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms for spot ventilation.
  • The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers reports that a home should have an average ventilation of 15 cubic feet per minute per person.
  • Consider controllers and timers for fans throughout the home that coincide with the daily habits of the family. While your ventilation system should be automatic, there should also be an option to turn the fans on and off as necessary.
  • There are several ways to integrate your home fans with furnace ventilation. These include one surface-mounted fan, good for small homes, which draw air from all over the home. Larger home should consider the remote mounted fan that draws stale air from a single point (or multiple points through a duct system). These are but two options, and other include heat pumps, air exchangers, balanced ventilators and multiple port fans.

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