Furnace Exhaust Leak in Cheektowaga

Alto Home Inspection LLC was recently asked to inspect a home in Cheektowaga, and we wanted to share our knowledge about an issue that we found, why it's a problem and what we would do if it was my house.

A rusted HVAC exhaust pipe
We found this problem during an inspection of the home’s furnace and water heater.
We found that a section of the furnace and water heater exhaust duct had rusted to the point that a large hole developed in it. This situation should be immediately corrected, as it allows poisonous exhaust gases to escape into the home. This type of problem is found on a somewhat regular basis during our home inspections, and it should be corrected immediately..
A qualified HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) technician should replace the damaged sections of the pipe. Once the damaged duct sections are replaced, the seams and joints of the pipe should be sealed with fire-resistant duct tape.
A qualified HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) technician should replace the damaged sections of the pipe. Once the damaged duct sections are replaced, the seams and joints of the pipe should be sealed with fire-resistant duct tape.
Most definitely not! This is an easy situation to correct, and should cost no more than a couple hundred bucks. But, it should certainly be fixed in order to avoid carbon monoxide and other dangerous combustion byproducts from lingering in the home.
This type of rust problem typically develops as a result of condensation forming inside of the exhaust pipes. The best way to stop this from happening again is to eliminate the horizontal section of pipe, and convert it to be as vertical as possible. This would allow gases to more quicker through the piping, reducing the chance of condensation forming. This sort of repair would require modification to the chimney, so a more practical option might be to hold off on changing the chimney and instead to plan on replacing the furnace and water heater with ones with power vents. Definitely don’t run out and do this, but instead replace them when those appliances eventually are replaced. No matter what, make sure that your home is properly equipped with carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, which are designed to alert you to high levels of carbon monoxide.

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