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Why Do Furnaces Need an Exhaust Flue?

Your furnace generates a great deal of heat when it runs; it also generates fumes and carbon monoxide, which need to be transferred out of your house safely in order to avoid some serious problems. The way these items are transferred outside your home is via the exhaust flue. However, should problems develop with the exhaust flue, such as cracks from corrosion, the fumes and exhaust can circulate back into your home. During a home heating maintenance appointment in Eugene, your flue and its components are thoroughly checked for cracks and other problems. If anything is found, you can schedule an appointment for repair with your Comfort Flow Heating technician.

How Does an Exhaust Flue Work?

The furnace exhaust flue, also called a furnace exhaust stack, is a metal tube that vents the noxious combustion gases from the heat exchanger to the outside. Inside the stack resides a damper that regulates the pressure between the air from the furnace and the outside air. This damper helps create the draft that pulls the exhaust gases up the stack for venting. The damper also prevents the exhaust from coming back into the furnace and your home. The piping for the furnace exhaust can be routed through your home to an outlet point, or routed into your chimney, if you have one.

Common Problems with Exhaust Flues

There are several common problems that can develop with exhaust flues:

  • Cracking – as mentioned above, cracks can develop in the flue pipe from corrosion. Corrosion can develop from water vapor or debris caught in the piping.
  • Leaks between joints – leaks can develop between the joints of the flue pipe, which can weaken the pipe.
  • Backdrafting – backdrafting is a serious situation in which the exhaust fumes are sucked back into your system and your home due to negative indoor air pressure. This scenario can be caused by insufficient air supply to your furnace or problems with the exhaust fan.

The best way to make sure your flue is in good shape for the winter is to schedule heating maintenance in Eugene. If it’s been more than 12 months since your last maintenance appointment, call Comfort Flow Heating today.

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