It's Friday... so I needed a furnace or air conditioning post for my blog about Columbus Ohio real estate. Thanks to CT home inspector, James Quarello for a post about drafting problems and scorch marks and what they mean.
We typically do not have "boilers" in residential heating in Central Ohio but our typical gas forced air furnaces rely on proper drafting of exhaust gases as well.
Next Friday, Friday July 1, 2011 is furnace filter Friday.
As anyone who has ever used an iron knows, if you leave the iron too long in one spot, your clothes will scorch. What that scorch mark tells us is that something happened that should not have occurred. We learn that when we see a scorch mark, we have done something wrong and need to correct our technique.
When doing home inspection in Connecticut, some thing I look for on heating equipment is scorch or soot marks. Seeing a scorch mark on a boiler or furnace usually means that something may be wrong with the equipment. It also means I must look extra closely at the unit.
On a recent home inspection I noticed scorching on the front of the boiler from halfway across the basement. The burn was so bad the paint has cracked. This tells me that the problem had/has been repeatedly occurring for quite some time.
Now looking at that mark one would think it was caused by a flame.
It is not.
Like the scorching on your clothes it is caused by heat. Not heat from a direct flame, but heat from the combustion gases back venting out the draft opening under the scorched area.
It means at times this boiler was exhausting into the house.
Looking over the equipment, I noticed that the chimney cleanout door had been removed from the opening behind the boiler. The door was resting on the floor next to the unit.
Why is this significant, you ask?
It tells me that the drafting problem is known and someone tried to fix it.
Removing or opening the chimney cleanout door is done by "technicians" sometimes to fix a drafting problem with heating equipment. It's a shortcut that does not actually fix the problem. By creating a large opening below the vent pipe, negative pressure is achieved inside the flue which improves the draft.
The correct way to fix this problem is to put a steel liner inside the chimney flue. Basically this reduces the size of the flue area, which in turn makes for a good draft. This is also another good argument for the elimination of heating equipment that relies on a masonry chimney to vent.
So if you see scorching on a heating system, it's a lot more serious than a burnt shirt.
To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:
Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services. Learn more about our home energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.
Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.
This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*
Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249
email: MaureenatMaureenMcCabe.com at = @
*Real Living HER
Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction. Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice. Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.