Water Heater Backdrafting, Part 1 of 2: Why it Matters and What to Look For

- .  To check for proper draft, I simply cup my hands around the draft hood without actually touching it. I have several different tools that I can use to check for proper draft at a water heater if I’m feeling fancy, but there’s really no need ..More

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How to Determine if Makeup Air is Required and the 300 CFM Myth

- .  The calculations are shown below.  When the number is negative, no makeup air is required.   So there you have it. Section 3 subtracts part 1 from part 2 (480-500), giving me a negative number.  Makeup air isn’t always required when installing a big kitchen exhaust fan, but the calculation is always required ..More

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Five Common Sump System Defects

- .  Simply have the sump pump discharge to an air gap. This way, if the discharge tubing fills with ice at the exterior, water will still make it’s way out. While disconnecting the drain hose at the exterior will prevent the sump discharge from being blocked by ice, there’s another way to prevent blockage that doesn’t require any maintenance. It will end up discharging right up against the house if the tubing is frozen, but it’s better than not discharging at all, and the amount of water that a sump pump pumps during the winter should be minimal ..More

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Three Simple AC Maintenance Items

- If the condensate drain consists of a garden hose or clear plastic tubing, replace it. . When improper materials are used, the drain is undersized, or when the drain needs to wrap all over the basement to get to a floor drain, the condensate drain has an increased potential to get blocked up. This will help to prevent a blocked condensate drain, which will help prevent unwanted leakage at the evaporator coil ..More

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Radon in New Minnesota Homes

- While approximately 40% of homes in Minnesota have high radon levels (over 4. . Passive radon reduction systems have been installed in new Minnesota homes for the last four years and they’re doing good. 0 pCi/L), a recent study by the Minnesota Department of Health showed that only 21% of new homes with passive radon reduction systems had high radon levels ..More

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