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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    20

    Default Gas furnace in living area?

    Our gas furnace is currently located in an unheated storage room. It is only accessible from an outside door. The door to the storage room has a louvered vent (I think to supply fresh air for combustion???).

    We would like to utilize the storage space and for a larger laundry room. Would we be able to do this?

    This is the existing layout with the storage closet/furnace room:


    This is the NEW layout with our proposed laundry room:


    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
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    661

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    First off do you have an 80 or 90+ furnace? If its an 80 then your right, the louvered door is for combustion, if you don't have it the furnace will starve for air. I don't think the new layout will supply your furnace with enough air as the space doesn't look big enough. I believe it is based on BTU's vs. Cubic feet of air. By the time I find the nos. someone else may come by and tell you what the ratio between the two are. If you have an 80 why not purchase a 90+, you'll save money in the long run and may be eligible for an energy star savings. Since you tearing down walls and boxing it in now would be the time do do it. Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    Not sure about the 80 or 90+. What does that mean? Couldn't I just have the vented door placed in the small closet that will enclose the furnace? Here are some pics of the existing "Storage room"...Thanks for your help!








  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    5,081

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    It looks like you have an older unit and I bet it's 80%. The number refers to the furnace efficiency. 80 is plenty good in mild areas. 94 furnace costs a lot more initially, and depending on usage, it could take 5 years or more to recover the difference in cost.

    The gas co. or a local a/c-heating guy can precisely tell you the calculations. But if you've had no problems with your heater so far, stay with it until it stops working. At that time you'll face the same question: which one to buy 80 or hi efficiency 94.

    Now about the new layout: It looks fine if you stay with the old heater and if you don't enclose it. Just keep the existing exterior door for ventilation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    I don't believe you will have a problem with the new design as long as the pocket door does not seal. If it does you may need to provide additional air flow.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    Well, I definitely want to seal the room from the exterior so as not to loose heated/cooled air...So that vented door has to go. But from what I am hearing is that it is ok for the heater to burn the oxygen from my living space...right?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,160

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    From the pic, it looks like the flue will be cutting through the new wall. I would be concerned about how hot it gets.

    It is already a tight install, so a tech will need as much room as possible in front of the unit to service. Move the new wall as close to the existing door as possible and use as wide a door as possible, a 3'-6" or even a 4' wide door. Be prepared to take the wall down when the unit is replaced or even for a major repair.

    Put louvers in the new furnace room door for combustion air & you should be ok. It is ok to use the house air for combustion if the house or room isn't sealed so tight that the furnace can't get enough air. A possible solution is to put a vent in the outside wall if needed. Also I see what looks like a water heater flue connection to the furnace flue. If the water heater is in the same room, it may be possible to backdraft through the water heater if there isn't enough combustion air provided.

    It looks possible, but a few things to think about. Great pics. It really helps to see what you are dealing with.
    Last edited by ed21; 02-27-2012 at 02:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,081

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    Since ed21 said that your pictures were fantastic, I looked at them again, and this is what I noticed:

    In pictures #2 and #4 there is the 3/4" pvc condensation line to the wall drain. It has a stub up, which I believe should be uncapped.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    I agree with Sten----you'll have to do a calculation (see sites below) that considers the btu Input (not output) of the boiler/furnace in comparison with the available cubic feet of air in the confined space, and any vents you have to the outside air; this will consist of the available air your burner/furnace has for combustion; you must also have sufficient exhaust capacity in your flue pipes & chimney so that the poisonous exhaust gases from combustion are expelled to the outside; from your diagrams, this is definitely a confined space & you may have to have a power vented exhaust system installed by a heating tech if you don't have enough air coming in and exhaust going out; it is never a good idea to rely on any "inside house air" when sizing a vent system for a boiler/furnace---too often the inside air is used up to service clothes dryers, kitchen exhaust fans, etc.

    It's almost always best to have a local hvac pro come in to do the exhaust work---he has the proper equipment to measure the flue exhaust gases with a combustion analyzer (a $2,000 tool) to get approx 11% C02, .02 to .04 W.C. negative draft and zero to trace of smoke---this will establish that the furnace is burning & exhausting its gases correctly---under local building codes, the heating tech has the call as to whether there is sufficient air & exhaust present & the remedies the tech sees as necessary----this is because we're dealing with poisonous gases that can back up into the living quarters & cause serious health problems, or even death---at a minimum, at least get a CO detector for the living quarters, & perhaps another for the confined space of the burner; an added bonus to letting the heating tech do it is that you'll get a clean burning appliance that will save you $$$$ on gas bills.

    The heating appliance installation manual is another good place to look---they must list the required details of what is needed for the particular model heating appliance you have; air/exhaust codes are contained in NFPA 54 ANSI Z 223.1 for gas-fired equipment.



    http://www.hvacwebconnection.com/hva...tingtoday1.htm
    http://www.fieldcontrols.com/cas.php
    Last edited by Dobbs; 02-27-2012 at 08:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Gas furnace in living area?

    In pictures #2 and #4 there is the 3/4" pvc condensation line to the wall drain. It has a stub up, which I believe should be uncapped.
    You are right...that line runs into the drain for the washer. Is this to be uncapped to allow for gasses to escape?

    Also I see what looks like a water heater flue connection to the furnace flue. If the water heater is in the same room, it may be possible to backdraft through the water heater if there isn't enough combustion air provided.
    That is correct...the water heater is currently in this room. I intentionally left it off of the plan b/c we are switching to a tankless direct-vent water heater. It would be nice to have a similar setup for the furnace...direct vent that uses outside air. I think that would be ideal, but we'll have to see if it's in the budget. Thanks for all your suggestions...per Sten and Dobbs suggestion, I'll contact a pro for some specifics on how to move forward.

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