The Role of a Combustion Closet in Safe Home Air | Rinaldis

The Role of a Sealed Combustion Closet in Safe Home Air

Mar 2, 2020

The Role of a Sealed Combustion Closet in Safe Home AirIf you have a gas water heater or furnace inside your Orlando home, the equipment’s operation may be putting your family’s health and safety in jeopardy. It’s crucial to understand this potential hazard, so you can take measures to ensure you have a healthy and safe home air supply.

How Combustion Equipment Can Pose a Safety Hazard

It’s common to have a furnace and water heater installed inside a home’s conditioned envelope, where they draw air from the surrounding room to use in the combustion process. Such appliances are also vented to the outdoors to expel exhaust fumes. This setup can create two serious safety risks:

  • Backdrafting of water heater exhaust. When air is continually pulled from inside your home and sent outdoors, a negative pressure situation can force noxious fumes back down the vent pipe. This can result in incomplete fuel combustion in the water heater’s burner and allow lethal carbon monoxide into your air supply.
  • Overriding of a vital furnace safety feature. If your water heater exhaust pipe is connected to the furnace flue and it gets blocked, the furnace sensor may not detect a high enough pressure to shut the unit down for safety. Those exhaust fumes that can’t escape outdoors can then backdraft into your home through the water heater vent pipe.

Sealed Combustion Closet: A Safety-Wise Solution

You can prevent backdrafting of your water heater and furnace exhaust fumes by enclosing the equipment in a sealed combustion closet.

  • The closet must be completely air sealed from the surrounding room.
  • The access door must have weatherstripping and a secure threshold to prevent air leakage.
  • Any penetrations through the closet walls or ceiling must be air sealed.
  • Two inlets must be installed to allow combustion air into the closet, with one stopping a foot from the ceiling and the other a foot from the floor.
  • The inlets must be sized to match the capacity of your equipment, with one square inch of inlet per 4,000 Btu of input capacity.

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