Seems pretty elementary doesn't it?  What should be a simple safety check on fossil fuel burning appliances, particularly for boilers with regards to ease of inspection, often is assumed with complacency or even goes unchecked.  I know everyone's maintenance schedule is packing up in the Northeast with the cold snap this week, so Technicians Take Heed!

There are many indicators that should trigger the phrase: "Check the flue!"  I always measure the draft in the flue of a natural draft, 80% appliance.   Too high or too low of a draft both can be an issue.  HVAC Contractors tend to focus on the 'too little draft' by installing chimney liners, completing Combustion Appliance Zone and CO testing.  Of course this condition could be the most dangerous, so I can't blame them.  Who ever expects to pull the flue off the boiler, look into the chimney and see what is pictured?  There must have been 40 years of garbage piled up!  Really is a spectacular thing that after all the years of maintenance I have yet  to become complacent with the Flue. 

Did you know the draft of the chimney is very dependent on the temperature difference between the flue gas and outside.  The greater the temperature difference, the better the draft (generally speaking).  This means the draft may be just fine on a cold WInter night, yet spill gases on a warm Fall afternoon.  Conversion warning: 25 Pascals = .10" w.c.  I know: metric, really?...Trust me, the rest of the world has the real gripe when they see standard measurements.  I bet your electronic manometers or even magnahelics (whatever you are using for draft measurements) have this scale.  Take a look at this chart supplied by Building Performance Institute (T_Out is your Outdoor Ambient Temp), start testing, and be sure that boiler will be safe all year long.  Oh, and don't forget about the water heater too!

 

 

BPI.org

The draft was just fine on this older, larger than most boilers (-.03"w.c.).  Except how long before that chimney became a real problem?  I have to tell everyone: I have found birds, nests, even a squirrel in a 90%+ flue.  Yes, that was a rotting mess to cut through with a hacksaw in a half-finished basement.  Always test the draft, measure the CO, and look into the flue/chimney.  You may just be surprised one day; possibly save someone, or maybe a home!

http://excessair.blogspot.com/2013/09/check-flue.html

Views: 2293

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Bob Blanchette on October 8, 2013 at 4:46pm

ALL dryers should have the duct checked annually. Electric dryers will set the lint on fire if the heating element doesn't burn out first.

Comment by Dennis Heidner on October 8, 2013 at 3:23pm

Good article..

If the homes have a natural gas dryer - check the flue -- in this case the vent line is as important.  Long drying times are symptons of a clogged dryer vent... and when its natural gas -- that means the flue is not operating efficiently.  

Welcome to Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

Blogs

First-Ever Comprehensive National Standard Practice Manual is Updated Guidebook for Energy Efficiency Cost-Benefit Analysis

Posted by Home Energy Magazine on May 23, 2017 at 9:30am 0 Comments

The first-ever comprehensive national guide for utility-funded energy efficiency programs is now available to help utilities, regulators and other interested…

Continue

New Video and Course on Solar PV in Real Estate

Posted by Amber Vignieri on May 16, 2017 at 11:31am 0 Comments

Real estate professionals who understand the basics of solar and know how to market the benefits of an installation will have a market edge. For most real estate agents and appraisers, assessing the value of solar is a new…

Continue

What Happen to Energy Upgrade California?

Posted by Will johnson on May 15, 2017 at 11:43am 0 Comments

Energy Upgrade California offers rebates up to $6,500.00 in SDGE territory.  Up to $4,500 in other territories.  Unfortunately they don't/won't promote it.  I can't get straight candid answers from the contractors supporting the program.  Only…

Continue

Latest Activity

Home Energy Magazine posted a blog post
20 minutes ago
Home Energy Magazine posted a video

Gary Nelson, The Energy Conservatory

Gary Nelson- Home Energy Magazine's "Legends of Home Performance" video series. Interviews with pioneer pathfinders of energy and water efficiency.
22 minutes ago
Kelly Vaughn posted a blog post
1 hour ago
Andrew Etue added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Washington State Seeks Weatherization Field Monitor

Washington State Department of Commerce in Olympia, Washington is recruiting for a Weatherization…See More
19 hours ago

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service