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What Are Fresh Air Intake Vents?

By May 4, 2021May 6th, 2021One Comment
Man looking through vent in a home

Fresh air intake vents help our gas appliances in our homes breathe easier by bringing outside air into the home. In addition, fresh air intake vents help prevent carbon monoxide build-up in our homes.

Today, homes may or may not have fresh air intake vents. However, with today’s building standards, they are required indoors whenever a new gas appliance is installed.

Let’s talk more about how fresh air intake vents work and how to identify them.

How Do Fresh Air Intake Vents Work

These fresh air vents are commonly installed for fireplaces, gas dryers, or even gas heaters. They work by allowing a passageway for air from the inside air to the exterior air through a vent and flue.

If you did not have fresh air intake vents, your gas appliances might solely use your oxygen in your home as fuel. Then, this could add an unhealthy amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to your home. With a vent, this provides more combustion air for your appliance.

As mentioned previously, fresh air vents were not required in older homes so your home may not have one. It is recommended to install one and is required when up replace your gas appliances.

Make-Up Air

These vents might be easily confused with make-up air, however, they are different. Make-up air is designed to bring in more air than your home vents out naturally. Fresh air intakes instead solely focus on bringing air to gas appliances.

Fresh Air Intake Vent in attic
Fresh Air Intake Vent in Attic

How To Identify Fresh Air Intake Vents

To find or validate your fresh air intake vents, first go to the room with the gas appliance. Fresh air intake vents are typically going to be grilled vents in the same room as your gas appliance. From that room, look for a grilled vent. Sometimes, they could be hidden behind appliances or doors.

Once you have identified a potential fresh air intake vent, you can follow the vent into the attic and outside the home. In some cases, they might be immediately run outside rather than through the attic.

Fresh air intake vents do not have to be permitting outside the home in all cases. You should always check with your local building code on specific requirements. In Florida, most of our fresh air intake vents are pulling in air from the attic.

More Information

You can also look at your exterior vents. If the exterior vent has a screen, it is most likely an intake. If the exterior vent has a flap inside, it is designed to push air outside your home.

Sometimes, dryer vents can have screens so be sure to double check with your dryer vent.

Final Thoughts

Fresh air intake vents are important to our safety. They help pull in outside air so our gas appliances can breathe easier.

If you have additional questions, comment below!

Waypoint Property Inspection looks for fresh air intakes during their home inspections in Tampa Bay, FL.

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