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Recovering heat from water heater flue gasses

...might be adding a Myson(or other)fan convector to put heat into the room. But I'd start by looking at the air leakage through the room and its insulation levels. Is there good insuation in the walls and ceiling? Does it have low-E double glazing?

Also, why doesn't the main house heater work for this room? Hope that helps. Yours, Larry


  • John_100
    John_100 Member Posts: 1
    Recovering heat from water heater flue gasses

    Is there a device that can be mounted on the hot water heater flue that can convert the escaping gasses and use them to help warm the air in an adjacent room of the house?

    We're in California, and our water heater is in the garage right against the wall that separates the garage from our breakfast area.

    Seems logical that with all the hot water being generated each morning that we could get a heat exchanger that would convert those hot escaping gasses to warmed air that could supplement the central heat system and make the breakfast area more comfortable while the whole house is heating up.

    Does such a device, probably with a manual or thermostatically controlled switch, exist?

    STEVE PAUL_3 Member Posts: 126
    stealing BTU's

    A few years back there were many "Heat reclaimers" on the market. Today they are few and far between. This is a good thing. A gas appliance with a properly sized flue pipe is a critically engineered device. To tamper with the flue temperature is to court danger. The correct flue temperature is necessary for the proper drafting and exhausting of the products of combustion. By "stealing" this heat you mess up the geometry of the venting system and could possibley cause carbon monoxide problems. Leave it alone!
  • Joe Brix
    Joe Brix Member Posts: 626
    At the very least

    you'll cool down the exhaust to condensing levels and probably rot out the water heater and flue pipe much quicker.
  • Keith_11
    Keith_11 Member Posts: 25

    The natural chimney effect which draws away the toxic byproducts of combustion in your hot water heater relies on a heat and pressure differential between the inside of the structure and the outside. Unfortunately, it is wasteful to an extent, but trying to tap into that heat source will lead to more problems and expenses than it will solve. If you want to use your gas more judiciously, consider purchasing an "instantaeous" water heater, which fires gas only when water is called for and therefore has no standby losses - and put a warm air furnace where the old hot water heater was. Cheap? No. But it will conserve gas.

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  • what about reclaiming

    the lost heat from a dryer? It's fan assisted. are there any dryers that use outside air for combustion? Bob Gagnon

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  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    According to a knowledgable appliance tech I asked,

    the answer is no. No dryer he knew of had a boot or similar interface that would allow sealed combustion. The best he could offer was installing a balanced vent system in a well-sealed room. "Turn on" the intake vent prior to drying a load and turn it off again when you're done.

    I suppose you could take it a step further concentric vent where the intake air balances the outgoing air and pre-warms it at the same time. I am not aware of any concentric vent systems that feature smooth-wall, stainless pipes, but I suppose they might be out there.

    I dropped the idea. I hope that the HRVs will give the dryer plenty of combustion air.
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