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With HVAC Vents, Do A Lot Of Small Holes Let Out Less Carbon Monoxide?

So, the age-old question - with HVAC vents, do a lot of small holes let out less carbon monoxide?

This is a house with a brand new gas HVAC system and gas water heater.  They were both high quality and in good shape.  Their efficiencies and installation all met all the recent codes.

But the venting through the house, and their connections were original, and nearly 40 years old.

I was disappointed to see that the HVAC installation company paid no attention to the venting.

You can see that the main exhaust stack is rusting, corroded and has the infamous brown powder at joints and holes. 

That's from condensation and indicates damage inside.

The left photo is where the furnace vent meets that main stack.

And the right photo is where the water heater vent meets that stack.

But it's the multiplicity of holes, at both connections, AND ALL AROUND both of those connections, that bother me.

So, should not the extensive corrosion of the old vent tubing have alarmed the HVAC company?

Should not the multiplicity of holes at the connections bothered them as well?  Aren't those holes dangerous?

In my opinion yes!

And so, the first question asked in the post is this:  with HVAC vents, do a lot of small holes let out less carbon monoxide?

Probably not!  And besides, is a little CO over a long amount of time OK?

My recommendation:  sometimes new mixed with old does not work!  New is good, especially when it meets code, but only BEST PRACTICE when the entire picture is taken into account!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 13 commentsJay Markanich • May 09 2013 03:08AM

Comments

Yes, that does seem irresponsible of the HVAC company.  I can't believe they did that.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

Good morning Jay. Sure they do. Couple in the venturi effect and, Voila! No CO! -- Yeah! Right!!!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Either they didn't have the approval by the homeowner, did not have the ability, or did not care Debbie.

Michael - less CO is good, right?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I'm wondering if you could place your fingers over those holes and make it play a tune... much like a flute! Music in the attic, what more can you ask? Clean air? Dang it, health always wins out!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 7 years ago

Am I seeing this right? Those holes were put there to "sew" the connections together.... or to play as a musical instrument later on.... and now everything is just corroding. 

You mean... things like this don't last forever? Surely you jest. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Ah memories.  I've had several furnace/water heater vent adventures. 

CO is, after all invisible.  Better safe than sorry.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Didn't it whistle when the air went thru it ?  Besides the obvious appearance...you woud think there would be additional clues hmmm ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 7 years ago

Hi Jay,

Looks liek the seller needs to get a Heating contractor out there and he needs to break out the Mastic for the seams.

Small holes or large holes, no matter. A leak is still a leak.

Have a great day inspecting in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 7 years ago

Jay -- you mean you take that quote about not putting new wine in old wine skins seriously?  ;-)

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 7 years ago

It sounds like a bassoon Fred!

Andrea - it isn't often that I see staples in these things!

Lenn - adventures indeed.  Usually I see one or two large holes, but not such orderly little ones!

The holes were the only clues S&D!  I could not make them play a tune though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

A leak indeed Clint, and a lot of damage.  Replacement necessary!

Steven - or new furnaces and water heaters into old exhaust tubing.  I think they found that verse in the Dead Sea Schmolls.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

It's like that is the last straw that broke the camels back.  Lots of small things adds up to one big problem and it sounds like that is what you have. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 7 years ago

This is certainly a big problem, despite the small holes James.  Hopefully the sellers will see the danger and have it rectified.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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