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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    You got a lot of good advice. I should probably stay out of this, but..
    I have fixed houses like this.
    Here is the way we did it.
    Bring in the correct of fresh air to get an air change in 4-5 hours. Calculate the total volume of the conditioned space. This will be in the area of 100 cfm of fresh air. I suggest using a charcoal filter bed of 2"-3" of activated charcoal/potassium premagentate on a horixontal 24" X 24" X 4" merv 14 pleated filer.
    The filter needs a 6" fresh air inlet and 8" house air return. Also an enough fan power to draw in and circulate the filtered air throughout the home. Most suggest that the system operate whenever the home is occupied and/or the source of the smoke is present. You need the fresh air ventilation when the home is occupied and the winds are calm because a quality built homes do not leak enough during calm winds and mild temps.
    In green grass climates, I suggest including a whole house dehumidifier as part of the system for times of the year when the outdoor dew points are +55^F and there low/no cooling loads.

    Units like the Ultra-Aire 100V are setup for this type of filtering. The charcoal media is available in 30 lbs. pails. The media last a season typically depending on the smoke level. 3-4 lbs. of charcoal is used load. When smoke odors come through, dump and reload. These thick beds are effective are absorbing various volatile organic gases. The merv 14 filter removes 96% of the particulate.
    The fresh air is controllable on an occupancy schedule or 24/7.
    If you want fresh air filterering without the dehumidifier, build up a filter box with a 6" duct fan.
    It is possible that homes do not need fresh air during windy cold weather, but during mild calm wind weather, most homes need mechanical fresh air ventilation to purge indoor pollutants and renew oxygen.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  2. #41
    That is a jerk of a neighbor to have, but then some things aren't in our hands. So since you can't stop your neighbor from using outdoor wood boilers and also can't make them buy and install a better furnace [/URL]the only thing you can now do is to block the smoke from entering your house, or if it enters maintain the air quality of the room. Air cleaners can be bought which will clean the air but I am not sure how much will it be effective in case of smoke from wooden boilers.
    Last edited by Dad; 02-22-2014 at 08:38 AM.

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Springville, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Qtina View Post
    I live in Michigan. There are not really any laws here to protect neighbors from outdoor wood boilers unfortunately.

    Yes, I have talked to my neighbor. He is a jerk about it.

    So, I am trying to figure out how to just deal with it for now until I can find a better solution. Any ideas?
    To add to the problem, this guy is a business and it is a huge stove.
    Actually, Michigan makes suggestions on proper usage of wood boilers, etc. to protect neighbors from their improper usage:,4561,7...5746--,00.html

    The outdoor wood boiler fact sheet makes a statement near the bottom about extending the flue pipe to prevent the problem you have:

    Since you tried to be nice and he was a jerk consider consulting with a legal representative about your options. There may be other avenues you are unaware of - like specific regulations regarding usage of these units for businesses.

    1.) Does the DEQ or any state agency have enforcement or investigative powers over a residential wood furnace pollution case?

    Residential outdoor wood furnaces are not regulated by the DEQ. Furnaces that are installed at commercial or industrial sites are regulated by the DEQ.

    2.) If not, who has that responsibility? And why does it fall with them instead of the DEQ?

    The DEQ does not have regulations that pertain to these types of units. The DEQ defers regulation of residential wood furnaces to the local unit of government. Residents are required to obtain a mechanical permit prior to installing these units to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Mechanical Code. Mechanical permits are issued by the city or county depending on where you live. Many communities also have local ordinances that pertain to outdoor wood-fired furnaces. Ordinances may restrict the type of fuel used, operating practices, or specify set back requirements to lessen the effects that the air emission may have on neighbors.

    3.) What steps should a homeowner take if they feel as if their neighbor's furnace is impacting their health etc.? (Who do they lodge complaints with, who will investigate etc?)

    If a homeowner is being adversely affected by a neighbor's outdoor wood furnace they should consider contacting their local officials to determine if there is an ordinance in place that regulates the unit. In many cases, the neighbor may not be aware that they are impacting the health of those around them so all it may take is a call from a local official to inform them of the problem and offer advice on how to fix it (e.g., burning only dry, seasoned wood). If there is no ordinance and a call to the furnace owner does not resolve the issue, then the local unit of government may have to consider whether it's necessary to create an ordinance to address the situation.

    4.) If the DEQ does handle residential cases, is there a common finding? Are most non polluting just smoky…or do they actually contain pollutants?

    All sources of combustion generate pollutants. The pollutant we are concerned about with regards to outdoor wood furnaces it Particulate Matter (PM). PM, especially, very minute particulates, can have acute and chronic health effects on exposed people, especially those with cardiovascular and respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma). Small children, the elderly, or people with preexisting respiratory and cardiovascular conditions can be especially vulnerable to fine particulate matter exposure. In general, well built units that are operated properly and located far from neighbors should not generate significant amounts of PM and have less of an effect on those living nearby. The majority of complaints we receive about the units are usually due to the following:

    ·Poor quality unit - "homemade" units that do not have the built in pollution controls that better models have.

    · Improper operating practices - burning items other than dry, seasoned wood will or overstocking the combustion chamber will cause excessive smoke and odors.

    · Improperly sited units - units that have a stack that is too short and located close to the property of neighbors.

    Last edited by HVAC_Marc; 02-22-2014 at 10:56 AM. Reason: forgot a quote
    Nest is poo...

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