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The Department of Community Services construction office has recently uncovered a number of potential carbon monoxide hazards during permit inspections of furnaces and boilers. When installing a new direct vent furnace or boiler, it is imperative that homeowners and their licensed contractors ensure that the existing chimney is sized (or lined) appropriately to adequately vent exhaust gases from remaining fuel burning equipment.
In most homes in Summit, a chimney is built to vent both a heating appliance such as a furnace and hot water heater or boiler. Since a substantial number of new fuel-efficient heating appliances are vented directly through a foundation wall rather than through a chimney in the home, many chimneys are no longer the appropriate size to effectively vent exhaust gases when one appliance is removed from it. This can pose a serious carbon monoxide hazard if left unaddressed.
How do I know if there is a problem with my chimney?
Heating and cooling contractors and plumbers are required by law to verify that any existing chimney or vent system is the appropriate size for any remaining appliances. Quite often, the solution is to either install a liner inside the existing chimney or to install an additional vent through the foundation wall. The City of Summit recommends that homeowners determine what steps are needed to adequately vent all heating and cooling appliances during the process of securing estimates for installation of new appliances from contractors.
Please contact the Department of Community Services construction office at 908-273-6408 with questions or for additional information.