Musty Smell From Heating System Air Ducts | Musty Odor

Musty smell from heating system air ducts could have many sources.

Although musty smell is always associated with moisture presence, eliminating it in some cases requires total redesigning of the forced air heating system.
This particular case applies to the houses with a forced air heating system metal air ducts embedded into the concrete slab (scroll to the bottom for a couple of other scenarios). With a plastic or cement air distributing pipes musty smell is rarely a case, unless some water leaks develop on pipe connections or cracks start appearing due to uneven settlement.
So if you have a forced air heating system, […]

Furnace, Water Heater Vent Pipe Clearances and Locations

Gas burning appliances vent pipes produce heat when discharging exhaust gases to exterior.
Temperature of the vent pipe is transferred to the surrounding area and all the materials that are in the vent pipe vicinity. Problems start arising if those materials are combustible and located to close to the furnace, water heater vent pipe. If you apply heat to a combustible material for some period of time (that varies between materials), its point of ignition will gradually get lower and eventually little heat will be required to start a fire – that’s why you need a clearance between the vent pipe and a combustible material.

Whole House Humidifier Maintenance

Routine whole house humidifier maintenance is required to prevent the unit from becoming a perfect mold distribution device and to maximize its performance. If your furnace is located in a crawlspace or house attic area you might not even know that you have a whole house humidifier installed. Please, check it or if you can’t, … Read more

Rotary Disc Humidifier by Desert Spring Review

It’s been almost one month since I’ve finished the installation, so it’s time for my Rotary Disc Humidifier by Desert Spring Review. I was a little hesitant before buying it and concerned with the other not-so-happy owners, but have finally come up with some answers I hope will help. Let’s start this rotary disc humidifier … Read more

Combustion Air for Fuel Burning Appliances

Combustion Air
Combustion air is required for all types of fuel burning appliances in our homes to properly burn that fuel.
Combustion air has three functions:

It  is required to properly burn fuel
To dilute exhaust gases that are being vented to exterior
To vent and cool appliances

The most popular fuel used in our homes is of course natural gas.
For every one cubic foot of gas, there are 10 cubic feet of combustion air needed for clean burning in addition to dilution and ventilation air.
There are two products out of a perfectly balanced gas combustion – carbon dioxide and water vapor, which are perfectly safe. […]

Whole House Humidifiers Types, Performance and Tips

A whole house humidifier or furnace mounted whole house humidifier is just another example of an extremely neglected component of our house – on top of a brick chimney, an attic, and a crawlspace, which fall into the same basket.
If you’re not going to maintain it, it’s probably a bad idea to get a whole house humidifier. Since it is attached to a forced air heating system that constantly circulates air throughout the house, poor maintenance can create environment attracting mold growth and help reproduce of dust mites.
Properly operating and maintaining a whole house humidifier […]

Gas Water Heater and Furnace Chimney Flue Size Calculations

Chimney Flue Size Calculations
The following gas water heater and furnace chimney flue size calculations are based on Peoples Gas “Construction Guide for Gas Usage” in the city of Chicago and National Fuel Gas Code. Before applying any of the following rules, you must check your local building code requirements, and appliance manufacturer installation instruction.

Have you checked your house brick chimney lately… or whatever type of the chimney you have?
Did you have a new furnace or water heater installed / was your house chimney flue recalculated for those new appliances?

Make sure that you chimney flue size / diameter is correct; […]

Furnace Air Return in Forced Air Heating System

Furnace Air Return in Forced Air Systems

Poorly designed or older forced air heating, and air-conditioning systems often have only a single air return compartment.
With a single story home, such furnace air return installation is still popular, simply because it saves money and material.
However, single furnace air return configuration might not be as efficient as the one with individual air return ports installed in every room. You should also remember to have doors in all rooms undercut approximately 3/4″ above the finished floor surface to provide proper air circulation.
Sometimes, carpet installation over the hardwood floor completely eliminates this necessary gap […]

HVAC Air Filters Type and Locations | Forced Air Systems

HVAC Air Filters Type and Locations

We notoriously forget to replace air filters in our forced air heating / air conditioning systems… Air flow starts deteriorating through the house, system seams to be operating, but it takes significantly longer to achieve desired temperature …
The solution might be simple – clogged air filter, or missing air filter, and in that second case, you might have a contaminated evaporator coil (part of air conditioning system). Air filters, usually come in two groups: electronic/electric and passive (reusable, electrostatic or disposable).
Electronic/electric – reusable filters, click on link for detailed information and maintenance instructions (this one […]