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  1. #1
    Margie DelGesso's Avatar
    Margie DelGesso Guest

    Default Location of furnace and hot water heater

    I am very interested in buying a home (Staten Island, NY) and found that the furnace and hot water heater are accessible only from outside the home. They are both in the interior of the home but are only acccessible from an exterior wall. There is a hidden door which is part of the siding of the home which opens to this enclosure. I'm concerned as to whether this is a safe location as well as concerned as to how easy it will be to service either unit in the winter months.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Location of furnace and hot water heater

    Margie,

    Water Heater Installation in an exterior utility room is common in my area.

    Find a good Home Inspector in your area to perform a Home Inspection for you.
    * it's well worth the fee before such a commitment and large investment.
    .

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 07-18-2009 at 08:15 PM. Reason: room from closet for clairty
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    Margie DelGesso's Avatar
    Margie DelGesso Guest

    Default Re: Location of furnace and hot water heater

    thanks Billy for your response!!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Location of furnace and hot water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Margie DelGesso View Post
    I am very interested in buying a home (Staten Island, NY) and found that the furnace and hot water heater are accessible only from outside the home. They are both in the interior of the home but are only acccessible from an exterior wall. There is a hidden door which is part of the siding of the home which opens to this enclosure. I'm concerned as to whether this is a safe location as well as concerned as to how easy it will be to service either unit in the winter months.
    As Billy said, it is not uncommon to find a W/H in an exterior room but then we are also in the South.

    I would contact a good home inspector in your area and let them give you their opinion on the home.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Cool Re: Location of furnace and hot water heater

    Aside from ensuring the units are properly installed and vented with clearances to combustibles, ask the inspector to see if he can tell if the interior walls that surround this closet are insulated and weatherized. If not, you have a huge energy hole to the outdoors. Also, depending upon how exposed to the elements this equipment is, the mfr. may not allow it. Locating heating equipment in exposed outdoor areas can present functional problems even if the installation technically complies with the product listing and codes. This is where duct sealing can make a huge difference in energy costs. If there is a source of carbon monoxide, poisonous yard chemicals, moisture or odors, leaky return ducts will inhale these aerosols and distribute them throughout the home. Also, you need sufficient makeup air to those appliances. locating a furnace in a closet may present a problem with access, clearances to combustibles or encapsulating the furnace in a box or alcove. This means you will need makeup air by either passive transfer grilles directly to the outdoors or a powered fan. All other issues aside, locating HVAC and potable hot water heaters, pipes and ducts outdoors on Staten Island will cost you energy and have the potential for other problems. For instance, what keeps your pipes from freezing?

    Many considerations in such an application. It may be legal but still have drawbacks. You definitely want to document the make, model and serial number so they can be researched for these issues. Ultimately, your best bet is to locate this equipement indoors.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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