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How To Install Fresh Air Intake For A Furnace?

How To Install Fresh Air Intake For A Furnace?

Fresh air intakes are, without a doubt, one of the important components of the HVAC system and many people ask us how to install a fresh air intake for a furnace. Well, here you can find all the information you need on how to install a fresh air intake for a furnace. 

As most homes nowadays are being built airtight, there’s a risk of accumulation of gases inside the house and that’s why it has become important to add fresh air into the home. So, there is a need to bring fresh air inside the home that is dispensed in the return air duct, which is then first heated and distributed by the furnace throughout the home.

Step-By-Step Process To Installing A Fresh Air Intake For A Furnace

Overall, installing a fresh air intake for the furnace is quite easy. So, let’s have a look at how to install a fresh air intake for a furnace.

Step 1

First of all, you need to find a spot that is best for the fresh air intake hood. Go outside of your home and find a spot that is not close to the dryer vents, exhaust vents, and furnace vents. Some homeowners make this mistake and bring most of the exhaust gases back into the heating systems of their homes.

Step 2

Now you need a hole saw to drill a hole of 6 1/4-inch. You need to have a 6-inch pipe and simply slide it through the hole. Use screws to secure the intake hood and use exterior caulk to seal around the hood.

Step 3

Use aviation snips (also called compound snips or tin snips) to cut a hole in the return air duct. The hole needs to be 6-inch in diameter and try to make sure that it needs to be near the furnace. Take a 6-inch metal sheet and install it into the hole. Keep in mind that there can be multiple locations throughout your home for fresh air intake.

Step 4

Take a metal galvanized duct (made from high quality galvanized steel) that needs to be 6-inch in length. Install it from the collar to the stub and secure it together by using sheet metal screws. Use a pipe crimper to crimp one end to cut joints in a way that it easily fits into the next piece. 

Now simply install a barometric damper of 6-inch as it will help in stopping the outside air from entering the duct until you turn on the furnace. Do keep in mind that the barometric damper has arrows that should be pointing towards the furnace. The purpose of the arrows is to show which way the airflow is going.

Step 5

Now you need to use a galvanized hanger strap to provide support to the galvanized duct. Make the duct airtight by caulking all the joints and seams and then use a duct wrap to insulate the duct. By insulating the duct, it ensures that there is no moisture accumulation in the cold months.

It is imperative to keep in mind you must caulk all the joints and seams of the duct as not doing it may enable combustion gases to easily leak into the heating system of your home.

The Importance of Fresh Air Intake

As the name implies, fresh air intake is a path to let fresh air from outside to enter your home. In many homes, it is just an open duct with an outside vent that leads into the furnace.

Many high-efficiency furnaces have to draw air from outside. Although a fresh air intake is not absolutely necessary, it can be super helpful in maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Moreover, fresh air intake also dilutes stale or polluted indoor air and pressurizes the home to make sure that contaminants in the air do not enter your home.

Why Do Furnaces Need Fresh Air Intake?

The simple answer is that furnaces require fresh air to get the oxygen that is needed for combustion. But the detailed answer requires a better understanding of the types of furnaces and how they work. 

Take an example of conventional efficiency furnaces that use about 80% of the energy found in the natural gas and lose the remaining during the combustion process and that’s because of venting. These furnaces simply take in air from their surroundings. 

Even if you don’t install a fresh air intake, the furnace is still going to take in the air out of the house. However, having a fresh air intake helps in ensuring that the furnace takes fresh air from outside. It is because if your home doesn’t have a fresh air intake then it will most certainly draw air in from the dryer vents, crawl space, or attic of your house. It can compromise the quality of the air you breathe. 

Moreover, a conventional furnace without a fresh air intake will most certainly be less efficient as the blower motor will have to run slower. And that’s not it. The air is drawn from places like the basement, crawl space, or attic usually has higher levels of corrosive contaminants that can affect the performance and life of the furnace.

There are some homeowners who block fresh air intakes only because they think that it will prevent the heat from escaping the house. They try to insulate fresh air intake to keep their homes warm, but they are actually making a mistake. It is because blocking the fresh air intake can accumulate negative pressure and might even bring back carbon monoxide and toxic fumes into the home.

Do read this to avoid carbon monoxide accumulation in your home.

Need Help Installing a Fresh Air Intake For Furnace

We can hope that you got all you needed on how to install a fresh air intake for the furnace. If not, then you can always get the help of HVAC Freelancer. Here, you can find some of the most experienced and qualified technicians who can help you with the installation of fresh air intake for furnaces. 

If you have any other queries related to how to install a fresh air intake for furnace, please let us know. Take care.