Here’s Your Venting Options for Furnace Replacements

Here's Your Venting Options for Furnace ReplacementsIf a furnace replacement is in your future, venting options will be part of the decision-making process. Proper venting is a critical safety consideration for any gas-fired furnace. A functional vent exhausts combustion gases including poisonous carbon monoxide.

Venting design also affects furnace efficiency by ensuring that free flow of hot gases is not restricted and protects the heat exchanger — the most expensive component in the furnace — from overheating. Here are three venting options to consider when installing a gas-fired furnace.

Natural Venting

If you have a standard efficiency (AFUE 85%) furnace, natural venting is probably what you’ve already got. It’s a vertical pipe leading to the roof that utilizes the natural flue effect caused by hot gases rising to pull fumes up the vent. Natural venting is uncomplicated and easy to install in most homes. The main downside of natural venting is the potential for backdrafting: If household air pressure drops lower than outdoor air due to outflow sources such as exhaust fans, chimneys and dryer vents, combustion fumes could potentially be drawn back into the house through the vent instead of being exhausted.

Direct Venting

Frequently installed with high-efficiency condensing furnaces, a direct venting system features separate air intake and exhaust pipes telescoped inside a single larger pipe. Direct venting permits a sealed furnace combustion chamber as intake air is fed directly through a pipe. Because the furnace draws in outdoor air for combustion and not household air, indoor air quality is improved. Also, direct vent systems can be either vertical or horizontal, allowing venting through a wall instead of the roof.

Power Venting

Typically installed in a sidewall, this option integrates an electric fan at the point where the vent terminates outdoors, forcefully drawing furnace combustion gases through and out the vent pipe. The fan cycles on and off with the furnace. A power vent ensures efficient and effective venting in horizontal configurations and eliminates potential for backdrafting.

For more information about venting options for a furnace replacement, contact Paitson Bros., the Wabash Valley’s heating and cooling specialists since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about venting options and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Dennis Cox/Shutterstock”

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