Columbus Ohio real estate

Mr. Handy Homeowner's heating solution....

Mr. Handy Homeowner's heating solution....  It's creative.

Happy Friday!  I try to find a furnace post to Re-Blog every week...  this week's James post originally titled "Contempt or Admiration" fit the bill.  James Quarello is a home inspector in Connecticut. 

We do not have a lot of oil furnaces in Central Ohio but we do have some.  Most furnaces in our Columbus, Ohio market  are heated with natural gas.  Most furnaces are in the basement but occasionally you run into a home with a furnace in a room with a door, or in a closet.  A gas furnace still have the issue of needing air for combustion. 

We do run into creative homeowner solutions to this and other issues. It's important to have a home inspection for just this reason.  Read on for Jim's descriptin of Mr. Happy Homeowner's creative solution to his furnace issue.  

In the course of performing home inspections, one happens across shall I say, some interesting methods of accomplishing a result. Often not the best approach, but it can be said to get the job done. What I often guardedly admire is the creativity of the person. They often have a sense of what is needed, but not enough knowledge or skills to quite accomplish the task correctly and more importantly safely. As we inspectors are wont to say;

They have enough knowledge to be dangerous.

Furnace located in an unvented, small roomI discovered a handy homeowner (Uncle Bob perhaps) solution during a recent inspection that showed an understanding of a problem. Unfortunately the resolution was not quite right, but undeniably unique.

The oil fired furnace for the home was located in a small room off the kitchen. This room also contained the water heater and laundry. The room of course has a door. Closing this door creates a problem for the furnace functioning efficiently.

The size of the room is too small to provide enough combustion make up air for the furnace or specifically the burner. This is a simple concept that often eludes many installers and even more homeowners. When something is burned it requires air (oxygen) to fuel the combustion process. Not enough air, the combustion is inefficient and incomplete. I can not tell you how often I find furnaces crammed into closets or surrounded by stored items, in effect choking the off the air supply.

Homeowner solution to not enough combustion make up airThis homeowner understood this problem or he was told about it. So instead of hiring a qualified HVAC contractor to install a means for bringing in combustion make up air, he did it himself.

Mr. Handy Homeowner decided to drill a hole in the furnace jacket above the oil burner continuing on through the side of his home direct to the exterior. He then inserted a PVC pipe and then “sealed” the hole with a rag. I guess you could call it crude, but effective.

One has to admire the creativity of some homeowners, but not for too long or too much.


James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.



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Comment balloon 0 commentsMaureen McCabe • October 21 2011 10:11AM