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Old 11-28-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


I have been awakened or kept awake many a night by a sound, much like my furnace sound coming on and off, but remarkably louder, as it sounds louder. My house is so close to my neighbours, I could reach out and touch her house from my bedroom window.

I discovered while cleaning the eaves, there is a pipe coming out of her house (new neighbour just took over the house). Is it legal to vent a furnace out the side of the house, that close to mine? Where my bedroom window is less than two feet away from sucking in whatever poisonous stuff is coming out of there?

If it is, how do we cut down the noise?

We're both single women and I don't know anything about furnaces, but I think there is something wrong here. Don't they vent up a chimney? What is it that it expels and is this dangerous to me? I used to keep the window open a crack, but no longer as too worried what is being vented out of the house, so now its closed AND I am still awakened by it.

Anyone have any advice on this??? We need help!

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Old 11-28-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Many modern furnaces vent out the side of the house via a pipe about 5 inches in diameter and a few feet off the ground.

Various energy saving devices extract much of the heat from the exhaust gases and after that, the gases don't rise up a chimney by themselves.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-28-2010 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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Many modern furnaces vent out the side of the house via a pipe about 5 inches in diameter and a few feet off the ground.
Thank you. Now, are there requirements about how much room should be between the houses went you vent outside and what can be done about the noise? Also, what risk is there to me to be inhaling this in my attempt to sleep?

Last edited by beacher1967; 11-28-2010 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:31 AM   #4
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Carbon Monoxide poisoning risk.

Call your local building code department, and see if they have codes against it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:54 AM   #5
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Thanks. Will get on that today. Do you know how to muffle the noise?

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Carbon Monoxide poisoning risk.

Call your local building code department, and see if they have codes against it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


there are certain distances the exhaust must be from things like windows, doors, gas meter, etc. This is mainly determined by your local building or plumbing codes.

it is possible that someone prior to the new owner installed the new furnace and did not pull a permit so nothing was inspected.

As for the sound, I don't know theres much that can be done other than re-routing the exhaust to discharge somewhere else.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Absoluteley there is a health risk.
Do not open that window during heating season, or until the vent pipe gets re-routed.
If the installer would have read the owner's manual they would have known better.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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HOLD ON HOLD ON !!! EVERYONE CALM DOWN for a minute.

I suspect what you are dealing with is a "heat pump" type heating and air conditioning system.

If the noise is coming from a 3-4 inch diameter plastic pipe and is around 3-5 feet above the ground this is likely a modern-day heat pump. They can be noisy.

If this is the case, you probably aren't dealing with any noxious fumes. You are dealing with compressed air only. Maybe some drips of water and some steam and some noise but that's about it.

The noise emitted from those things is rated in "bels" and I'm sure they have their limits when a neighbors unit is as close as this one is to you.

Generally speaking the range is from 0 to 13 bels. (very similar to decibels) Thirteen is very high as it would relate to decibels of sound. Have your local building inspection office check it out and see what they suggest.

Chances are the emission point near your window can be relocated to a more desirable location.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
HOLD ON HOLD ON !!! EVERYONE CALM DOWN for a minute.

I suspect what you are dealing with is a "heat pump" type heating and air conditioning system.

If the noise is coming from a 3-4 inch diameter plastic pipe and is around 3-5 feet above the ground this is likely a modern-day heat pump. They can be noisy.

If this is the case, you probably aren't dealing with any noxious fumes. You are dealing with compressed air only. Maybe some drips of water and some steam and some noise but that's about it.

The noise emitted from those things is rated in "bels" and I'm sure they have their limits when a neighbors unit is as close as this one is to you.

Generally speaking the range is from 0 to 13 bels. (very similar to decibels) Thirteen is very high as it would relate to decibels of sound. Have your local building inspection office check it out and see what they suggest.

Chances are the emission point near your window can be relocated to a more desirable location.

Tile-Guy....stick with tile....that's not a heatpump...I would only make the leap this could possibly be a radon mitigation system, but you usually don't hear those.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:16 PM   #10
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


See if the neighbor would be willing to have a 90 degree elbow installed pointing down to help with the noise problem or reroute the exhaust somewhere away from the side of your house. I suspect their could be a building code violation with the exhaust so close to your window.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:58 PM   #11
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


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Tile-Guy....stick with tile....that's not a heatpump...I would only make the leap this could possibly be a radon mitigation system, but you usually don't hear those.
Oh I fully intend to stick with tile but with the minimal description of what is taking place I wasn't seeing life-threatening exhaust fumes permeating the neighborhood. Exhaust fumes rising from heat convection won't make any noise either and those discharges are typically at (or above) the roof line. Heat pumps compressing gasses in a system will make a lot of noise.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:11 PM   #12
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Oh I fully intend to stick with tile but with the minimal description of what is taking place I wasn't seeing life-threatening exhaust fumes permeating the neighborhood. Exhaust fumes rising from heat convection won't make any noise either and those discharges are typically at (or above) the roof line. Heat pumps compressing gasses in a system will make a lot of noise.
It's a furnace NOT a Heatpump. Heatpump's NEVER vent thru plastic pipe!
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
HOLD ON HOLD ON !!! EVERYONE CALM DOWN for a minute.

I suspect what you are dealing with is a "heat pump" type heating and air conditioning system.

If the noise is coming from a 3-4 inch diameter plastic pipe and is around 3-5 feet above the ground this is likely a modern-day heat pump. They can be noisy.

If this is the case, you probably aren't dealing with any noxious fumes. You are dealing with compressed air only. Maybe some drips of water and some steam and some noise but that's about it.

The noise emitted from those things is rated in "bels" and I'm sure they have their limits when a neighbors unit is as close as this one is to you.

Generally speaking the range is from 0 to 13 bels. (very similar to decibels) Thirteen is very high as it would relate to decibels of sound. Have your local building inspection office check it out and see what they suggest.

Chances are the emission point near your window can be relocated to a more desirable location.
From her description. Its more likely that its the exhaust pipe of a gas furnace.

A heat pump would not be emitting noise from the sleeve the line set is run through. The noise from a heat pump would come from the outdoor unit itself.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:02 PM   #14
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Oh I fully intend to stick with tile but with the minimal description of what is taking place I wasn't seeing life-threatening exhaust fumes permeating the neighborhood. Exhaust fumes rising from heat convection won't make any noise either and those discharges are typically at (or above) the roof line. Heat pumps compressing gasses in a system will make a lot of noise.

Condensing gas furnace vents are about 35/65. As far as the number vented up through the roof(35%), and the number vented through the side(65%) of the house.

Since its much easier on existing construction to vent out eh side then through the roof.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:02 PM   #15
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Neighbor's furnace vent, need help!


beacher.

Can you take a pic of it. And post it.

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