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In this home, Dr. Energy Saver replaced the old oil furnace with an energy-efficient propane heat pump. The heat pump is so efficient at extracting all the heat out of the combustion gases and distributing heated air throughout the house, that the exhaust vents can be run through PVC pipes to the outside of the house, rather than through the masonry chimney. This upgrade has made the masonry chimney no longer necessary. Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver, also walks us through the process of sealing this unused chimney.
The old, low-efficiency gas water heater, which was also exhausted through the masonry chimney, was replaced by an energy-efficient tankless water heater. The tankless water heater also exhausts trough PVC pipes to the outside.
These upgrades rendered the home's existing chimney useless. Masonry chimneys, even when in use, are huge sources of energy waste. They are basically an unsealed, hollow column that runs from the bottom of your home all the way to the roof. Heat is being transferred to the brick walls, and the air you pay to heat is leaking through gaps in the column, and between the roof and the masonry walls.
The upper part of the masonry chimney was taken down to the attic floor. In the future, the homeowner will be able to take down the part that runs through the living space, if he wishes to have additional living space. The top of the chimney, now down to just below the attic floor, was then closed using rigid foam board insulation, and air sealed with spray foam. The gap left on the roof was sealed and shingled.
The new heating system will now work at top efficiency, because the heated air will stay where it belongs-- in the living areas of the house. The home will be more comfortable and this homeowner will save a lot of money in his energy bills.
To learn about many ways to save money and energy at home, look for other On the Job videos on our website, or call a Dr. Energy Saver expert for a complete home energy audit!