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Advice, please

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by kavade, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. kavade

    kavade New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Southern California
    I have a structurally insulated panel house which retains heat very well. The house is two story, each story being basically a large room measuring about 27 x 27. I currently have two small wall furnaces which direct vent out the wall, one on each floor, and . in terms of heat output - are rally more than I need. In fact the one furnace on the first floor is sufficient to heat the whole house. The problem is that we sometimes get wind gusts here of as much as 75 miles per hour. Often, the gusts are in the 40 to 50 mph range. These gusts blow out the pilot, or even the flame if the gust is really strong. Also, they sometimes blow products of combustion back into the house - at least I'm pretty sure that is what the stink is that we get when the wind is blowing hard right at the vent. I put a baffle around the vent, and even wrapped metal
    window screen mesh around the vent. That helps, but doesn't totally solve the problem. The flame can still blow out sometimes and the stink still blows back in. I am assuming that these furnaces, made by Cozy, do not have sealed combustion chambers. Can that be right? And if so, I was wondering if getting sealed combustion chamber units would solve the wind problem.

    I thought I could replace these two with the smallest propane stoves, the freestanding ones that look like wood stoves, and assumed I would not have the same problems. But I figured I'd better ask around, hence this post. Could I , for example, put in a couple of Hearthstone propane stoves, the smallest ones, and have enough heat and no blow out problems? I think I need about 15,000 BTUs per floor.

    Any and all opinions would be most gratefully received.

    Thank you for any input.

    Kavade

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,124
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Welcome to the forums kavade,


    In general one should never vent into the prevailing wind direction.
  3. kavade

    kavade New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
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    3
    Loc:
    Southern California
    Well, yes, I understand that now, but no one realized this when the house was being designed and built. The other walls, therefore, are not suitable (posts, windows etc) So is there a way to deal with this problem that anyone knows of?

    Thank you. Sorry I posted to the wrong thread at first -thanks for moving me.

    Kavade
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Not a problem with the misplaced posting.

    I PM'd BrotherBart and asked him to move it to here.

    I had a couple of custom built wind shields at a prior house.

    You need to find a good metal former (tinsmith, hvac contractor) to put together something that will both block direct entry of wind and allow the vent to function.

    Folks have this same problem with other heating systems as well.
  5. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    5,125
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    If you're getting a smell back THRU the furnace, it sounds like you may have a
    B-vent unit, but if your home is new & tightly built, that wouldn't make sense.
    DV appliances may have wind issues, but they have sealed combustion chambers &
    if the glass is on correctly & the DV is assembled correctly, there will be no smell.
    In a DV appliance, it's generally not the burner that gets blown out,
    it's the safety system of the pilot thermocouple getting an intermittent flame contact
    that causes the gas flow to the both the pilot & the burner to stop.
    If you can build a windbreak wall or plant some trees to stop the direct flow into the vent,
    that could help.
  6. kavade

    kavade New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Southern California
    Oh! Yes, of course! I see. Thank you Bob. I DO have B-vent furnaces!. I don't even know, come to think of it, if these are legal in California. But they are all wrong for a house like this for sure. How I wound up with these in new construction is a long story - my mistake and the County inspector was ...well, he was a rather laid back guy. But why didn't the plumber mention it? Or the contractor? Or, for that matter, the plumbing supply store - they probably just wanted to get rid of them. But ultimately it was my fault - I was in a hurry to get the final permit and did not pay attention to why these units were so steeply discounted. Live and learn, hmm?

    Well, okay, at least now I understand the situation. I need sealed units for sure, and, I guess, have the local metal worker make a couple of baffles. If I could trouble you folks for a little more input, is there a web page that lists kinds and prices of various sealed DV units? I spent A LOT of time yesterday trying to compare furnaces but I had trouble finding the information.

    Thank you very much for clearing up my confusion, Bob. Great forum!
  7. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Cozy also make DV units. Maybe you can talk to the original vendor
    to see if trade in/replacement is possible without spending a whole bundle of
    $$$? You would also need to know if the original vent cap location can be
    modified & reused for the DV outlet...
  8. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    A direct vent still will not be able to function correctly in that kind of wind. Just FYI.
  9. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Agreed, but there are wind shields to cut down on the interference...
    & that's why I told him to erect some sort of windblock.
    At least he won't be getting any fumes back into his home...

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