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About Damien

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.

Options for Furnace Vent Replacements

Damien McCusker

Options for Furnace Vent ReplacementsWhen you're planning a furnace replacement, your choice of venting options is a key consideration to limit your family's risk of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure. Gas furnaces are a reliable and efficient home heating method, but they do produce combustion exhaust fumes that can contain CO gas. Your HVAC contractor is your best source of advice on the right type of vent for your home, but here's a brief guide on the three available choices:

Natural Vents

Also known as a “type B”, this vent was the most common and least expensive used with gas furnaces back in the day. A natural vent pipe is attached to the furnace and run vertically up through the roof. This allows hot combustion exhaust fumes to rise and exit through the roof on their own, in a natural manner. This is often done through the existing chimney which can sometimes be a problem in itself so be wary of unforeseen problems. Another downside of this type of venting is that these toxic combustion fumes can backdraft under certain circumstances, which means carbon monoxide might enter your air supply.

Direct Vents

Direct vents are more common and limit the risk of backdrafting, so they're considered safer and more efficient than natural vents. They feature two different-sized vent pipes fitted together; a smaller, inner pipe takes exhaust fumes outdoors, while a larger, outer pipe brings fresh combustion air into your furnace. Direct vents can be placed horizontally and routed through an exterior wall, or vertically and vented through the roof (be wary as there can be unforeseen problems with venting through the roof). Separate vent pipes (one for exhausting air and a separate for bringing in fresh air) is the optimal way to go.

Sidewall Power Vents

This type of vent uses the same one-inside-the-other pipe design as a direct vent, but it also has an electrically-powered fan on the outer end of the exhaust portion for greater venting efficiency. The fan gets wired directly to the furnace blower, so they cycle on and off in unison. The mechanical and electrical components make these vents more expensive than direct vents, but they're the most efficient and safest option too. Additionally, power vents can be placed through almost any exterior wall, so they provide greater placement flexibility for a new furnace. Separate venting pipes are an optimal choice here as well.

If you'd like to learn more about the different furnace venting options for your Calgary home, contact us at Arpi's Industries.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace vents and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Mert-Toker

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