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  • Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

    I have a home that was built last year and we moved in last December. I was a little surprised on the cost to heat it (propane). Now that I will be paying another dollar per gallon more this winter I have 3 things I would like to do that I think will help with energy savings.

    1. The furnace sucks inside air for combustion and then exhausts it outside.
    2. The hot water heater has a blower on the pvc exhaust line that sucks inside air and exhausts it outside.
    3. The Clothes dryer sucks inside air and exhausts it outside.

    Number 1 and 2 can be fixed with some PVC ran outside and I'm pretty sure the installation manual shows this as an optional setup. Why is this optional? Isn't much more energy efficient not to suck conditioned air out of the house??

    Number 3 is something I noticed when trying to keep the laundry room door closed. With the door closed, I felt a huge draft at the 1 inch space between the door and the floor. Of course this air flow would be the same as what I would feel if I went outside and put my hand at the dryer exhaust. Assuming my dryer runs at 100cfm, about 1/3 of the air in the house would be blown outside on a typical load. This air would be replaced by outside air that in the winter could be very cold. To fix this I would either have to find a way to connect the dryer intake to the outside or put an outside vent in the laundry room.

    Any comments are appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

    I am surprised about the furnace. For a very long time...in my experience...furnace has been required to get combustion air from outside. This was often accomplished by the furnace being in the garage or attic, or if it was in a closet, a duct was brought down from the attic for combustion.

    As for the clothes dryer, apparently it is a small enough volume of air that the code is silent. But certainly if you could provide a source of outside ventilation to the laundry room, that would help. Then the issue is keeping that air source from letting conditioned air from the house escape on a 24 hour basis.

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    • #3
      Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

      Thanks for the Reply.

      I guess what I really want to know is if these changes will make a difference in anyones expert opinion?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

        you will be heating outside air one way or another, the only noticeable differences are, if you use inside air, your home may feel drafty and will be somewhat drier (less humidity is usually good in a new house).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

          I would check into the efficiency of the appliances, granted there new, but it appears some short cuts were made. for efficiency to begin with,

          you may want to contact a company that can take a thermal infrared picture of your home, and see there there are any glaring heat losses as well, and possibly do a energy audit as well,

          If there are some major problems you may still have some recourse back to the builder, to have it "repaired" (re insulated). have the attic checked out for having recommended amounts of insulation in it as well,

          air infiltration is very hard on keeping heat in,

          there may be nothing one can do it may be as good as it can be, and it jsut takes money to heat it,

          I am sure the combustion air coming from the out side would help, but to be able to see a difference it in your bill, may be hard to notice, (but for ever cubit foot of air currently leaving the chimney one is coming in from out side from some where, to replace it,
          (some depends on were it is coming in from and if there are other leaks (in and out) and if you replace the combustion air with out side air, if the other will still be making it way inside, and the heated air be leaving from some other area.

          If you have a fire place is the damper closed and tight,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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          • #6
            Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

            Originally posted by dougski View Post
            I have a home that was built last year and we moved in last December. I was a little surprised on the cost to heat it (propane). Now that I will be paying another dollar per gallon more this winter I have 3 things I would like to do that I think will help with energy savings.

            1. The furnace sucks inside air for combustion and then exhausts it outside.
            2. The hot water heater has a blower on the pvc exhaust line that sucks inside air and exhausts it outside.
            3. The Clothes dryer sucks inside air and exhausts it outside.

            Number 1 and 2 can be fixed with some PVC ran outside and I'm pretty sure the installation manual shows this as an optional setup. Why is this optional? Isn't much more energy efficient not to suck conditioned air out of the house??

            Number 3 is something I noticed when trying to keep the laundry room door closed. With the door closed, I felt a huge draft at the 1 inch space between the door and the floor. Of course this air flow would be the same as what I would feel if I went outside and put my hand at the dryer exhaust. Assuming my dryer runs at 100cfm, about 1/3 of the air in the house would be blown outside on a typical load. This air would be replaced by outside air that in the winter could be very cold. To fix this I would either have to find a way to connect the dryer intake to the outside or put an outside vent in the laundry room.

            Any comments are appreciated.
            as far as the house goes a newer house is much more air tight then a older one so all gas fired heaters should have out side air for make up air

            the furnace is it a high efficiency with pvc flue pipe ,then it should have a pvc make up pipe also [ the contractor did a cheep job if it id a pvc flue ]

            if the room that the HWH is in is the same as the furnace then you can use a common make up air intake [ make sure there are no water pipes in front of the air inlet it may freeze a pipe in winter ]

            and the dryer does not run long enough at a time that I would worry about it


            and if you dont have the right make up air nothing will burn right
            Last edited by HVAC HAWK; 08-24-2008, 05:04 PM.
            Charlie

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            • #7
              Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

              Back in Georgia in the late 90's when I did hvac there, they had a type of home called "good cents" home. They were extremely effiecent and sealed tight as a drum. But the engineers never took into account fresh air exchange and the result was many of these homes developed mold.

              For you, I would look into getting an energy effincency audit done. They scan your house with heat sensing camera to show hot spots and they put your entire house under pressure to find leaks. Once that's done, you can realistically look at what needs to get done to lower your fuel cost.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

                You draw outside air to pressurize your home and push stale air out. Instead of stuggling to draw inside air and creating drafts by pulling outside air through doors and windows.
                This will minimize drafts and cold spots from around doors and windows etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why is everything taking my conditioned air?

                  One ussue that we have skirted around here: FRESH air. This can be an issue in very tight houses, and require that a certain amount of fresh outiside air be provided. The energy component of that issue can be dealt with using air to air heat exchangers.

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