Coming around the side of this house I noticed that they didn't use duct tape - it brought a tear to my eye.
Now don't get me wrong, the rest of the job was ugly, unprofessional and should not have been done.
But still, they didn't use duct tape!
These are the direct vent tubes for a high-efficiency, condensing gas furnace.
They are very efficient furnaces.
But the tubing is large.
I think people worry that birds will get inside and block things, or damage the mechanisms.
Often homeowners have screened them over.
And in this case they used real screening!
The danger here is that when it is very cold, and warm, humid air is blowing out of that upper tube, it can freeze on the screen surface and cause a blockage.
That danger does not exist on the lower tube, which is an intake. It actually draws in fresh air, exchanging 10% or 15% of the air in the house when the unit is running. This is more healthful as the system is not simply reheating the same stale air all the time.
The companies actually make a chicken-wire screen to cap the intake so no bird accidentally gets inside.
But they don't recommend screening the exhaust.
My recommendation: sure, while it looks ugly, unprofessional and a bit comical, at least they didn't use duct tape! Maybe a paradigm shift is in process! Minds are being changed as duct tape, which has its good uses, is more regarded now as not good for HVAC equipment!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560