Gas furnaces are an efficient and reliable method of home heating and a popular choice with Michigan homeowners. Just like other types of fuel-burning equipment, a furnace produces potentially-dangerous combustion fumes that need to be vented for safety.
If you’re planning a new furnace installation, it’s wise to seek the advice of an experienced HVAC contractor about your venting options. Here’s a look at the three types of vents available:
Natural or “type B” vents are the most common and economical option used with gas furnaces. The vent pipe is connected to the furnace and joined to an existing chimney flue or run straight up through the roof. As the name implies, hot exhaust fumes from the furnace rise naturally up the pipe and vent through the rooftop. With these vents, combustion air is drawn from the indoor air supply, so there’s the risk that exhaust fumes containing lethal carbon monoxide can backdraft into your home.
Direct vents consist of two differently-sized pipes, one inside the other. The larger outer pipe pulls in air for combustion from outdoors. Exhaust fumes are vented through the smaller, inner pipe. These furnace vents can be installed horizontally through an exterior wall, or vertically so exhaust fumes go out through the roof. Although more costly than a natural vent, a direct vent is also a more efficient and safer option.
Sidewall Power Vents
This type of furnace vent uses the same pipe configuration as a direct vent, but it’s also equipped with an exhaust fan on the outdoor end to aid in expelling combustion fumes. The fan is wired to the furnace, so they cycle on and off in tandem. Because of the additional electrical and mechanical components, power units are the most expensive venting option, but they’re also the most efficient and safest. This type of vent provides more flexibility in where you can install a new furnace too, because they can be placed in any exterior wall.
To learn more about furnace venting options for your Grand Traverse County home, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Dennis Cox/Shutterstock”