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Title: Assessment of Literature Related to Combustion Appliance Venting Systems

In many residential building retrofit programs, air tightening to increase energy efficiency is often constrained by safety concerns with naturally vented combustion appliances. Tighter residential buildings more readily depressurize when exhaust equipment is operated, making combustion appliances more prone to backdraft or spill combustion exhaust into the living space. Several measures, such as installation guidelines, vent sizing codes, and combustion safety diagnostics, are in place with the intent to prevent backdrafting and combustion spillage, but the diagnostics conflict and the risk mitigation objective is inconsistent. This literature review summarizes the metrics and diagnostics used to assess combustion safety, documents their technical basis, and investigates their risk mitigations. It compiles information from the following: codes for combustion appliance venting and installation; standards and guidelines for combustion safety diagnostics; research evaluating combustion safety diagnostics; research investigating wind effects on building depressurization and venting; and software for simulating vent system performance.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
lbnl, combustion appliance venting systems, retrofit programs, venting