• Climate Change and City Hall
  • Volume 15 Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
 

Industrial Revolution: Reducing Appliance Backdrafting Risks With HVAC-Integrated Makeup Air Systems

Mike Turns, Pennsylvania Housing Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University

Industrial Revolution

Every home makes compromises among different and often competing goals: comfort, convenience, durability, energy consumption, maintenance, construction costs, appearance, strength, community acceptance, and resale value. Often consumers and developers making the tradeoffs among these goals do so with incomplete information, increasing the risks and slowing the adoption of innovative products and processes. This slow diffusion negatively affects productivity, quality, performance, and value. This department of Cityscape presents, in graphic form, a few promising technological improvements to the U.S. housing stock. If you have an idea for a future department feature, please send your diagram or photograph, along with a few, well-chosen words, to dana.b.bres@hud.gov.


 

Kitchens are often a significant source of indoor air pollution, and cooking byproducts should be vented to the outside, but range hoods should not be installed without taking certain precautions. Exhaust equipment, such as range hoods, may create negative pressure inside a house, resulting in backdrafting of combustion appliances. This scenario is particularly true because of modern construction practices that yield tight building enclosures and because of consumer demand for large range hoods. A properly sized and installed heating-, ventilation-, and air-conditioning-integrated makeup air system will alleviate building pressures and reduce the risk of backdrafting appliances.


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