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Eric Gans
Certified Energy Auditor

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Residential Comfort & Energy Efficiency

Wednesday, March 30 2022
How a Fuel Heated Furnace Can Cost You in Summer

One of your benefits from meeting with a certified home energy audit is that you get to learn from a pro that regularly visits Maryland homes.

A well-seasoned energy auditor hears about many of the same complaints originating from many of the same root causes. 

We literally have a video library of insulation information about how to solve just about any comfort problem.

And surprise, surprise! When you fix comfort problems - you save money on your bill too!

Lets consider the problems your gas, oil or propane furnace can cause you in the summer - when you are not even using the thing!
 

 

How Can a Gas Furnace Have Anything to Do with High Summer Energy Bills?

Not all homes have gas furnaces and not all homes with gas furnaces will have this issue, so take a look at yours to see if this applies to you. 

Or, get a home energy audit to have us take a look in your attic for you. 

A gas furnace is a combustion appliance.  It must get the harmful gases that it creates when burning fuel to heat your home to go somewhere.  As a result, a furnace has a flue or chimney that must go to the "outdoors".  

In many cases the best way to do that is plan for space inside the home for the flue to run through the conditioned space - through the attic and out at the roof.  This is known as a chase or conduit.

How does this relate to comfort and high energy bills in summer?  It is all about fully understanding the ways in which your house is connected to the outside (and don't forget the attic is the outside too!!).

In basic physics, warm air follows cold air.  As an example, if you open your front door on a hot day the warm, humid air from outside wants to come inside.  

In winter, the warm air inside wants to go right up and out.  

With the up and out idea in mind, if the cavity created for the furnace chimney is open at the attic floor (like the one in the video below) then guess what happens...the 120 degree hot attic air will seep down into the cooler openings that lead to the inside of your house and wreak havoc on your COOL summer life!

 

How Do You Solve an Open Flue Chase Problem?

If you have a flue that runs through the attic, you will need a professional to take a look.  Blocking and sealing around a flue at the attic floor requires taking the correct precautions to be sure it is correctly fire rated since the flue gets very hot.  

Another tip:  typically, houses that have an open flue chase at the attic floor also have several other common problems that can easily be corrected!  

So many people think that they have to live with being uncomfortable while simultaneously paying high energy bills.  Not true!

Get a home energy audit and learn several smart steps you can take today towards better summer comfort.

 

 

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Insulation Video Library

Insulation Video Library

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