New Construction & Remodeling Concerns
Our homes can be in conflict with our hearth products, cooking, and heating appliance. These conditions may result in unsafe malfunctions as well as personal injury.
Why is My Home So Drafty?
An older home is likely to have air leaks that allow air infiltration into the dwelling to supply adequate combustion air to our appliances. This entry of air allows proper combustion of oil, gas and solid fuel and is required for proper drafting of these byproducts. All products of combustion must exit the dwelling to the exterior environment. A lack of air supply can often result in increased levels of carbon monoxide, improper drafting of the flue gases and a greater risk of exposure to the occupants. This air supply must be maintained for safety. Improvements to the original dwelling may reduce the infiltration of this combustion air. This reduction may result in malfunctions and personal injury to the occupants. We recommend that you consult with a professional inspector to determine the needs of your dwelling and appliances prior to remodeling.
What Can I Do To Improve My Home?
With the changes made to insulation, vapor barriers, windows, doors and all aspect of the dwelling due to the current Energy Codes, it has become increasingly important to inspect and maintain all appliances regularly. These improvements can reduce the entry of air infiltration. These Energy Codes were developed to save energy but have created many conflicts for our oil, gas and solid fuel burning appliances. Changes to our homes may also result in conflicts with the Mechanical Codes. This Code ensures proper operation of the appliances and requires an inspection of your system upon repair or replacement. The combustion air requirements are found within the Mechanical Code. All vented appliances must exhaust air from the dwelling. The rate of this exhaust is based on the appliance and the volume of the fuel spent. The air exchange must be adequate to prevent malfunctions and premature failure of the appliances.
What about New Construction?
New homes are built to meet the new Energy Code requirements. These codes are intended to conserve energy by reducing the interaction between the outside environment and the interior living space. The intent of the Energy Code is to prevent the conditioned air from exiting the dwelling. This increases the efficiency of the dwelling and saves energy. However, this application can also result in conflicts and malfunction of hearth products as well as cooking and heating appliances.
How Do I Prevent These Problems?
If you are thinking of remodeling, adding a new system or just want to check your aging system, you can contact a professionally trained Fireplace & Chimney Inspector. A F.I.R.E. Certified Inspector will evaluate your appliance, chimneys and vents systems to ensure safe operation. This is a perfect time to evaluate your systems and make informed decisions.
Who Do I Contact?
If you smell gas, turn off the appliance and immediately contact your Gas Company. If you think you might have been exposed to carbon monoxide, exit the dwelling immediately and contact 911 for medical assistance. If you notice unusual flame movement, smoke or objectionable odors, you should contact your local F.I.R.E. Certified Inspector for an accurate assessment of your appliance and dwelling.
When considering new construction or a remodel project, plenty of thought should be applied to your new and existing appliances and ventilation systems. These appliances and vent systems can be tricky at best. To prevent injury, we recommend consulting with a professional within the industry to assist you in application and safety. Although the Public Inspection process serves an important roll in quality assurance, the reality is that the public inspectors are not liable. The private inspectors are liable for their action and in most cases will provide a professional consulting service for a reasonable fee. Be sure that any inspector you choose has professional inspection training and understands the building codes, their intent and all manufacturers’ requirements. A professionally trained Inspector can assist you in this process to provide a greater level of comfort. Contact your local Fireplace & Chimney Inspector today at www.gotoFIRE.com.
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