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Damien McCusker, Manager of Arpi's residential service division, has been working in the HVAC industry for 16 years and has hands-on experience in new home installations, furnace and air conditioner replacements, sales and residential service. He spends most of his spare time being an UBER driver, driving his kids to soccer practice and games.

Venting Options For Furnace Replacements

Phil Laprairie

Replacing your furnace is a huge undertaking. Not only is it a significant investment, but choosing systems and features to optimize efficiency and energy savings takes time and knowledge. One element that is important to consider with furnace replacements (and installing systems in a new construction) is where to vent the furnace.

Traditionally, venting a furnace through the roof or chimney has been standard procedure. Today, however, there are other venting options available. Alternative venting options can contribute to lower costs, cutting the costs of labor and materials for the initial installation. Additionally, when a home has more than one story, side-wall venting for furnace replacements drastically decreases the costs, requiring fewer adjustments for factors like ductwork. With less ductwork, and less adjustments, you can also extend the total square footage of living space because your home doesn’t have to reserve as much space for ductwork chases.

When considering side-wall venting with furnace replacements, however, homeowners need to know that there are certain local (and national) building codes and city by-laws that dictate where a vent can be placed.

As homeowners tend to think of the best options in terms of their aesthetic appeal, this can often conflict with HVAC contractors’ goals of safety and the practical realities of installation. Additionally, contractors must comply with codes and by-laws, and because there are safety issues with exhausting dangerous combustion gases — with all types of ventilation — certain restrictions will apply in order to ensure that safety.

If you’re selecting a new high-efficiency furnace, side-wall venting, in fact, is essential for the system’s success. Most chimneys are not built to facilitate the needs of high-efficiency systems and are generally side-vented to maintain efficiency. Significant alterations, like size and materials, must be made to chimneys to accommodate high-efficiency systems. Chimneys are often not as safe as side-venting, which can be expertly installed to appropriately capture combustion gases.

Take advantage of the convenience and affordability of side-wall venting. For more information about venting options with furnace replacements, contact Arpi’s Industries.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Arpi’s services Calgary, Alberta. Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!

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Comments

We were intending to replace our "still working" furnace with a high-efficiency unit. The Arpi's estimator who provided a quote said it could be vented out the side. However, one of the other two contractors we obtained quotes from mentioned the side yard must be a minimum of 48" to the lot line. Ours is 46.5 inches. So, even though the neighbour's side yard is 6 feet (making a total of 10 feet, less 1 1/2 inches between the houses), it seems we have to vent out the back. We have put $40,000 of landscaping in to create an attractive backyard oasis (including trellises, screens, etc., to hide all other evidence of the technology that runs our home), and are adamantly opposed to having two PVC pipes exit at ground level and run up the outside wall of our house. We understand the exhaust will kill anything growing in front, so it seems there is no way to hide this "visual pollution". We are so upset about the venting issue, we are now planning to keep our old furnace running as long as possible. Surely, there must be another option.

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