A mechanical room is full of fun stuff that you hope never has a problem.
However, not everything in there is extremely complicated, but it’s still as essential.
One key feature of your mechanical rooms, will be the venting.
As it relates to our 55+ communities, here in Utah, we have two types of vents.
There is the fresh air vents and the combustible air vents.
Mechanical Room – Part 3
Combustible air vents:
These are the vents that most people are familiar with. They’re entirely essential. When either your furnace or your water heater burns gas, it needs a place for that combusted air to escape. The last place you want that bad air to go, is into your home. That is how people die from carbon monoxide.
For the most part, there’s not much you need to worry about with these. In all the years we’ve been building retirement communities, I can’t remember a single time where one of these has been installed incorrectly.
If however, your carbon monoxide detector does go off, this is one of the first places you’ll need to look.
For the water heater, the vent has traditionally been a metal vent, while our furnaces have usually had a plastic vent.
Your gas fireplace also has a vent. Usually this vents directly through the exterior wall that it sits on. Gone are the days of functional chimneys, with few exceptions. You can easily find the vent on the exterior wall. It is a metal square vent. They’re not the prettiest things in the world, but that’s what you’re seeing, if you ever wondered.
Fresh air vents:
This is a vent that most people are not as familiar with, but it is just as important. There are multiple ways of bringing fresh air into your mechanical room. Just sucking it in from your living space is not adequate. That is in fact, one of the reasons why some homes have problems with their combustion air not escaping, because they don’t have adequate fresh air coming in first.
This has the potential to create a negative pressure inside your home that sucks the combustion air into the home, rather than letting it get sucked out of the house.
Up to this point, most of our homes have brought the fresh air into the home via a vent in the ceiling. Since this isn’t connected to any of the appliances, you might often see light coming down through the vent.
Don’t worry, it still has a cap on it. Thus, unless there is a good strong wind with the rain, you won’t be soaking your mechanical room every time the weather turns wet.
Like I said though, there are other ways of running fresh air into those rooms. We’ve been exploring those possibilities and may soon be switching over to a setup that doesn’t have the large hole in the ceiling. If we can make this happen, it will still be as good as the setup we currently use, but it will make some residents even more happy, since even with a cap, some rain can sometimes find it’s way into your home through the vent.
Technologies are always changing, and we are always adapting to provide the best value for your money. Not only do we want to provide mechanical systems that keep you comfortable, but we also want to keep you safe.