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Vent to the outside



Hello.

I recently bought a house with steam heat. The boiler is in the basement. In the attached picture, you can see an insulated duct. At the top it is connected to a vent to the outside and it is open at the bottom. It's about 10 degrees here in Michigan, so cold air is pouring into my basement.

My question is, what is the purpose of this and can i cover it?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,888
    It's probably there to bring combustion air into the boiler room. How bit is the boiler? How big is the space the boiler is in? And can the boiler draw combustion air from anywhere else in the house easily?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    Canucker
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,478
    edited December 2017
    The purpose of it is likely to bring combustion air to the boiler. Apparently your boiler room is too small and or too tight.

    Now the bad news is, it's hard to tell with the insulation in the way but that boiler looks like it may be piped poorly....
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    CraigMI
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 14,197
    It should be possible to put an automatic damper in that duct, with an interlock that won't let the burner start unless the damper is open. Kind of like a stack damper on an atmospheric gas boiler.

    That gives me an idea- wire up a standard stack damper to a fan center relay?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    CraigMI
  • AMservicesAMservices Member Posts: 578
    > @Steamhead said:
    > It should be possible to put an automatic damper in that duct, with an interlock that won't let the burner start unless the damper is open. Kind of like a stack damper on an atmospheric gas boiler.
    >
    > That gives me an idea- wire up a standard stack damper to a fan center relay?

    I did that.
    The damper motor has an end switch that completes the call for heat aftet damper opens.

    Just wanted to show @CraigMI an example
    CanuckerCraigMI
  • CraigMICraigMI Member Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone for your feedback. The room is very small, so I'm sure you all are right.

    A couple questions:

    1. Is it ok to insulate the room to prevent the cold air from cooling the basement?
    2. Could I temporary block the vent and leave the door open to the room?


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,888
    CraigMI said:

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. The room is very small, so I'm sure you all are right.

    A couple questions:

    1. Is it ok to insulate the room to prevent the cold air from cooling the basement?
    2. Could I temporary block the vent and leave the door open to the room?


    1. Yes
    2. Probably not a really good idea...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch

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