Does Your Furnace Vent Properly?
Call (804) 440-5000 to Schedule
Your FREE* Furnace Inspection!
(for Accessible Flues – Limited Time Offer)
*Level 1 Visual Inspection for Typical Furnace Venting – High-Efficiency Systems with PVC Venting Not Included.
If you suspect that there might be a problem with your furnace venting properly, don’t hesitate to investigate this important safety concern. Our professional, certified professionals will take a look at your furnace venting and share our findings during our visit. No Strings Attached. We want everyone to be sure that their furnace venting is set up according to recommended specifications and in the safest way possible before the heating season begins
Just like many other homes in the Richmond, VA area, your home most likely has a furnace to heat your home during the winter. The furnace flue vent is vital for expelling the exhaust from your home. However, modifications such as converting from oil to gas, repairs, or even installing a new furnace could cause venting problems if it is not done properly. Also, older and historic homes with furnace flues initially constructed over 30 years ago have reached their useful lifespan and are beginning to fail, further increasing the risk of fire and exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) fumes. We work on many Historic or Older Homes in the Downtown Richmond Area, including beautiful neighborhoods like Carytown, Forest Hill, Bonair, Scott’s Addition, Museum District, The Fan, and many more to ensure the furnace is venting properly.
How Do I Know If My Furnace Isn’t Venting Properly?
A furnace flue that isn’t venting correctly can leak carbon monoxide gas into your home. It is like starting a car in a closed garage, and it can have deadly consequences. So, how do you know if your furnace flue isn’t venting properly?
Backdraft: A backdraft is a tell-tale sign that your furnace flue isn’t venting properly. It occurs when the exhaust is pulled into the home, usually due to an obstruction, negative air pressure, or an improperly sized flue.
Condensation/Moisture: Another sign that your furnace isn’t venting properly is noticing condensation or moisture on your windows, especially in the morning when you turn on the furnace. It is caused by the fumes leaking into your home from the furnace.
Incorrect Slope: High-efficiency furnaces produce condensation that needs to be drained; otherwise, it will block the vent and trigger a furnace shut down. If the horizontal slope doesn’t meet the minimum ¼” pitch requirements, the condensation will not drain properly and cause venting problems with your furnace.
Furnace Flue Liner Damage: As with most older and historic homes in the Richmond area, the furnace flue is lined with terra-cotta clay tiles to protect the vent and nearby combustible materials from the furnace heat. A combination of age, moisture, and exposure to corrosive combustion gases are causing them to crack, chip, and spall that can allow carbon monoxide gas to leak into your home and ultimately lead to a flue collapse. Also, clay tile liners are insufficient to withstand the higher heat output of modern high-efficiency furnaces and may need to be relined with a stainless-steel flue liner.
Another furnace venting problem, particularly with a high-efficiency furnace, is that it is connecting to an existing chimney or flue liner that doesn’t comply with current building codes or meet the manufacturer’s specifications of the high-efficiency furnace. Typically, the furnace should not vent directly into a masonry chimney for the fireplace with an older clay tile liner. However, that is what we are seeing in some older and historic homes, which can be very dangerous for the home and family.
Install and Test Your CO Detector
Homeowners with a solid or liquid fuel heating appliance like a gas furnace should have a working CO detector and test it monthly. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because it is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. A CO detector may be the only indicator that toxic carbon monoxide gas is leaking into your home. If your CO detector uses batteries, replace them every six months. Symptoms of CO exposure include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.
Furnace Flue Inspection
In addition to chimney inspections, Chimney Saver Solutions offers free furnace flue inspections throughout the Downtown Richmond area, including the Bonair, Carytown, The Fan, Forest Hill, Museum District, Scott’s Addition, and Stony Point. Contact us to schedule your furnace flue inspection today!