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Oil Direct Vent - Soot stains??

PJO Member Posts: 140
And it's working well. The only trouble I had was with the blizzard we just had two weeks ago...20" with wind drifts covered the exhaust, and she shut down (as designed). Five minutes of clearing the snow away and all was fine.

I have been through five winters, and there is a very small area that looks like some soot may have built-up. My Hardi-plank (concrete-based) siding is painted beige, so it probably shows more than a darker color might. Hindsight says maybe I should have cleaned it once a year?

If I could do it again, I would still have a direct vent. Just be careful of the placement as far as prevailing wind and any time you spend on a deck/patio/etc. (smell issue), as well as the snow issue - mine is only about 15" off the ground.

Hope this helps. Take Care, PJO


  • Jim_12
    Jim_12 Member Posts: 7
    Oil Direct Vent

    I'm a homeowner who plans to replace electric baseboard this summer with FHW baseboard. My initial thoughts were to use propane as the heat source but a btu $$ comparision tells me oil is the way to go. The area where the boiler will be installed does not have a chimney and I do not want to have one in that area. Two local firms have proposed "direct vent boilers" that go through the wall. The tech specs look good but my questions relates to the appearance of the house after 5 or 10 years of use.

    Will the area above the direct vent become noticeably soot stained and discolored? This area has cedar shakes for siding. What have you seen on direct vent installs that have been around for a few years?
  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    Direct vents...

    or power vents do not cause soot staining.Improperly installed,adjusted or maintained oil burning equipment does.You are definitely on the right track with oil one gallon of LP contains 900000 BTU one gallon of heating oil contains 140000 marketing cannot over come the laws of physics.
    I have installed several hundred direct or power vented systems over the years but if I had a choice I would use a chimney evry time but its not always practical or affordable.If properly insstalled and maintained you should have no problems however if a chimney is possible DO IT.

  • Steve Eayrs
    Steve Eayrs Member Posts: 424
    All it takes to make you wish.....

    you had gone with a chimney, is for it to soot just once.
    And it most likely will in 10 years or so. If you have it tuned up, and cleaned every year, you still have a chance of the power venter eventually going out, or something going wrong.
    A basic rule "if it moves it breaks", applies here. A stack up through the roof doesn't move, but blowers do.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Nine hundred thousand btu's?!?!?!?!

    HEY JOHN!!

    You typed one too many 0's!!

    140,000 btu's available per gallon of fuel oil.

    90,000 btu's per gallon of LPG.

    Sealed combistion, modulating gas valve with outdoor reset (LPG or Nat.) vs. fixed firing rate (oil)

    I gotta' go with gas.


    Mark H

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  • Frank_17
    Frank_17 Member Posts: 107
    direct vent

    when INSTALLED properly dierct vents will not soot the house. keep boiler maintained yearly you'll have no problems. Direct vent and power vent is not the same thing. direct vent has no moving parts, combustion air from the outside means less infiltration of cold air to house less cold air to heat. I think all oil burners should have comb. air taken from outside.
  • joel_14
    joel_14 Member Posts: 116
    sorry mark

    But unless the load is really small enough to make an oil unit oversized oil wins hands down. I can do weather responsive on oil with a boiler that although it doesn't modulte has low stand by loss and if the WR controll is dialed in you never really shut off anyhow. 87-89% oil vs 94% on Propane will not offset the 40+% handicap propane starts out with due to the lower BTU content even if it's a modulation burner. Add to that propnes much higher cost per gallon and it just doesn't make sense unless the load is really small. We have people calling here begging us to switch them from propane to oil! Just hd a guy call his propane bill for his water heater last month was 3$ per gallon!!!! because he doesn't use alot. Even if you use alot the per gallon price is typically higher than oil. Your argument sounds like the heat pump guys " but it's 300% efficent" Yes, and the fuel(electric) cost 600% more.....
  • B. Tice
    B. Tice Member Posts: 206
    Gotta be done right

    but no, sooting would not be a problem. Actually, I have some ones out there that were not installed the way I'd do it and clean as a whistle. I like direct vent over power vent.
  • Jim_12
    Jim_12 Member Posts: 7

    I appreciate the thoughtful responses. Hopefully, 10 years from now I'll look back on it (the decision making process)and wonder what the fuss was all about.

    Sorry about posting this is the wrong sequence.
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