Preventing cold draft from heat vents


T

thomasb369

We recently moved into a 75-year-old home which has a newer,
energy-efficient gas forced air furnace. The ductwork and venting are
much older than the furnace...I'm guessing 1950's or 60's. The heat and
intake vents are cut into the baseboards along the wall, perpendicular
to the floor.

The problem is that when the furnace is not running, we get cold drafts
of air through both the cold air intakes and the heat vents, coming up
from the basement I suppose. The breeze is fairly strong...it will
cause a piece of paper to flap out if held in front of the vent.

Surely there is some way to prevent this? Some gadget which closes off
the vent when the furnace isn't blowing? If we remove the vent covers,
there is nothing between it and the big hole into the ductwork. Should
there be?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Tommy
 
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P

.p.jm

We recently moved into a 75-year-old home which has a newer,
alt.home.repair, not here

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W

William Stacy

That's kinda like the dumb blonde receptionist at the plastic surgeon's
office suggesting the disfigured dog bite victim go to a general
practitioner's office...
 
C

CBHVAC

We recently moved into a 75-year-old home which has a newer,
energy-efficient gas forced air furnace. The ductwork and venting are
much older than the furnace...I'm guessing 1950's or 60's. The heat and
intake vents are cut into the baseboards along the wall, perpendicular
to the floor.

The problem is that when the furnace is not running, we get cold drafts
of air through both the cold air intakes and the heat vents, coming up
from the basement I suppose. The breeze is fairly strong...it will
cause a piece of paper to flap out if held in front of the vent.

Surely there is some way to prevent this? Some gadget which closes off
the vent when the furnace isn't blowing? If we remove the vent covers,
there is nothing between it and the big hole into the ductwork. Should
there be?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Tommy
Find out why the previous owner went with a contractor that didnt do the job
right.
A freaking new unit on 40 year old ductwork..what a joke.

Let me ask you something...seriously...

You are driving down the road...some dummy put nails out all over...you run
over them and get 4 flats...
Are you only gonna replace 1 tire?
Patch one tire? Leave the other three flat?

Of course not...thats a silly question right?
Well so is yours. The duct isnt a seperate part of your furnace..its part of
it..so ask yourself..why did the other contractor skimp so bad?
 
N

Noon-Air

Thats not fair... folks call plumbers to work on their comfort systems all
the time.... even though its like going to a proctologist to get dental work
done.
 
P

PrecisionMachinisT

Noon-Air said:
Thats not fair... folks call plumbers to work on their comfort systems all
the time.... even though its like going to a proctologist to get dental work
done.
....LOL...

Good one !!!
 
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S

Steve Scott

Get someone in to seal and insulate your trunks and run outs.
 
M

Mark

Steve said:
Get someone in to seal and insulate your trunks and run outs.
Tommy,

does the blower in the furnace turn off?

Is there a draft even when the blower shuts off or is the blower
staying on?

Mark
 
T

Tekkie®

Noon-Air posted for all of us...
I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.
Thats not fair... folks call plumbers to work on their comfort systems all
the time.... even though its like going to a proctologist to get dental work
done.
Hmmm, taste treat!
 
B

buffalobill

on your windy day, turn furnace off and stand at the basement door. is
there a breeze?

blocking your ducts in winter or putting a resistive flap on them isn't
the answer you need.

let a local professional look over the house.
or, this will help you find a contractor.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_contractors#2

this could be a combination problem of leaky ducts, basement
weathersealing, and maybe general insulation.
see also:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_solutions.hm_improvement_draftyrooms
 
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T

thomasb369

To Mark
does the blower in the furnace turn off? Is there a draft even when the blower shuts off or is the blower staying on?
Yes, the blower turns off.

To BuffaloBill
on your windy day, turn furnace off and stand at the basement door. is
there a breeze?

There's no breeze, probably because we have a shed off the back of the
house at the top of the basement steps. (It's one of those deals where
you used to have to lift a hatch to access the basement - like in the
Wizard of Oz - but at some point a "mud room" and a proper door were
added on.) The basement (concrete walls) is pretty consistently 60
degrees no matter what's happening outside.

Thanks for the links. From the replies here, I think it's clear I need
to call in a professional since the problem is beyond simply trying to
block that updraft at the endpoint. And I don't think I should call
whoever put that brand new furnace in on that ancient ductwork, eh?

Thanks,
Tommy
 
S

Steve Scott

Depends on whether you had the furnace installed or the previous
owners. If they did they may not have wanted to foot the bill for the
remedial duct work.
 
N

Noon-Air

Its also possible that the previous owners *knew* it was crap, and just told
the guy to "make it work as cheap as possible" so they could dump the house
on an unsuspecting buyer.
I walk away from those kind of jobs... The previous owners might be gone,
but the shit work will be left behind and bite you in the ass.

--

Steve @ Noon-Air Heating & A/C
(e-mail address removed)

If you get caught speeding....
You weren't going fast enough.
:)
 
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T

thomasb369

I did some snooping over the weekend. Turns out the furnace was
installed by a relative who "does it on the side." So yes, the owners
wanted cheap or perhaps didn't know any better. (I will assume the
best: ignorance.)

Anyway, now I know to stick with a reputable company with a track
record. And those EnergyStar links are really helpful for a novice like
myself. At least I know some questions to ask!

Thanks for your help everybody.

:) Tommy
 

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