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Mom2bac 02-21-2008 08:47 AM

HVAC direct vent question
Hi, the renovations to my house are nearly complete and I had a question regarding HVAC direct vent. The heating guys installed HVAC in place of our steam heat and now there are these 2 big pipes on the side of my house (by the front of the house). I assume these are the direct vent to the HVAC unit as our mechanical room is located at the front of the house). The problem is that the smoke is blowing towards my neighbor's property and they want us to move the vent. According to my contractor we are code compliant (code requires the pipe to be 6 feet inside the property line) so he doesn't think it's a problem. I've asked him to ask the HVAC people if they can move the pipes away from my neighbor's--which would mean putting the pipe at the front of our house (which I'm okay with). My question is is the smoke coming out of that pipe harmful? Should I be concerned?

Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated. This is my first time with construction and I am still learning as I go.

glennjanie 02-21-2008 09:23 AM

Welcome Sam:
The 'smoke' is nothing but steam coming from the heater. Its like the atomic energy plants; they have no exhaust but the news people picture the steam coming from the cooling towers and act like they are 'spewing' polution. The low amount of heat that is exhausted makes steam vapor in the air and looks like smoke. The same principle applies to blowing your breath on an cold day and making steam even without smoking.

Mom2bac 02-21-2008 10:05 AM

Thank you so much for your reply Glenn. Well, I'm glad to hear that the smoke is nothing harmful. My neighbor seems to think otherwise but it's nice to know I'm not harming anything. My other question is if the smoke is not harmful why does the town require that the window above the vent be made inoperable?

Quattro 02-21-2008 10:42 AM

Ehh, it's not JUST water vapor. There are some combustion byproducts coming out that pipe. There has to be, otherwise the system would be 100% efficient.

But, if it's code-compliant, your neighbor really has no case. Maybe you could look into putting a 45-degree elbow on the outlet (if allowed) to direct the exhaust more downwind?

triple D 02-21-2008 09:19 PM

carbon monoxide
Thats what is with that steam and if it was blowing back in your window you might get ill. You could ask your installer how much more length is allowed if any. Maybe this could get you to a different location, or even higher on side of house. Make sure you contact your installer, he knows your system best.Good luck......

Mom2bac 02-22-2008 02:05 AM

Thanks all for your reply. I will ask my installer if there's anyway to redirect the pipe. Unfortunately my house has so many windows it's difficult to find 4 feet of wall space that doesn't have any windows on it...

handyguys 02-24-2008 07:01 PM

One more thing - When its not so cold you will see nothing from the pipe. Obviously nothing in summer either.

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