Building Science


Under Pressure – Part 2

Now that most residential construction spending in Canada is devoted to renovations, homeowners are aware that building envelope improvements, mechanical upgrades, and new appliances are among the biggest expenditures they can make. The payoff from new windows, doors, furnaces, range vents, fireplaces, water heaters, and air sealing is improved comfort. If not done properly however, all that effort will pose a health risk if a build up of combustion products occurs in the house. Combustion products in the house can come from gas, oil, or wood appliances and heating devices, and occasional leaks from an attached garage. They pose a health risk if make-up air is not supplied in the right amount, and fans and dryers cause depressurization, to the point where appliance vents are reversed and combustion devices spill their products indoors. Depressurization happens when the air pressure inside a house is lower than it is outside. Renovated houses…

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