How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Is a furnace allowed in a bedroom, bathroom, or an adjoining closet?
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Bedrooms and bathrooms have two things in common: they are both typically smaller rooms and often occupied for an extended period of time with the door closed. And, in the case of a furnace, often asleep. A furnace malfunction can cause a deadly carbon monoxide (CO) buildup; so the Florida Building Code (FBC-G2406) and International Residential Code (IRC) do not allow furnace installation in a bedroom, bathroom, or an any adjoining closet unless it meets these specifications that essentially isolate the furnace from the room:
- The furnace is installed in a room that opens only onto the bedroom or bathroom, is used only for the furnace, has a solid and weather-stripped door equipped with a self-closer, and receives all air used for combustion from the outdoors (typical by vents into the attic), or
- The furnace is a direct-vent type, which is a sealed system that draws and exhausts air directly outdoors, and is installed per manufacturer’s specifications.
When we come across a furnace installed in a bedroom, bathroom, or adjoining closet, it is usually because the room was originally a garage or utility room that got remodeled into a bedroom suite. The homeowner left the furnace in place and remodeled around it, to avoid the expense of relocating the unit and its gas service piping, plus reconfiguring the ductwork.
No isolation system is foolproof, so we always recommend installing a CO alarm in a bedroom or bathroom with direct-vent furnace or one in an adjacent sealed closet. Also, see our blog post Can the return air be in the same room as the gas furnace?
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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