SUMMIT, NJ - A number of potential carbon monoxide hazards during permit inspections of furnaces and boilers have recently been discovered by the City of Summit Department of Community Services' construction office.

Therefore the construction office is reminding residents that, when installing a new direct vent furnace or boiler, it is imperative that homeowners and their licensed contractors ensure that the existing chimney is sized -- or lined -- appropriately to adequately vent exhaust gases from remaining fuel burning equipment.

In most homes in Summit, a chimney is built to vent both a heating appliance, such as a furnace and hot water heater or boiler. Since a substantial number of new, fuel-efficient heating appliances are vented directly through a foundation wall rather than through a chimney in the home, many chimneys are no longer the appropriate size to effectively vent exhaust gases when one appliance is removed from it.

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If left unaddressed, this can pose a serious carbon monoxide hazard.

The law requires heating and cooling contractors and plumbers to verify that any existing chimney or vent system is the appropriate size for any remaining appliances. Quite often, the solution is to either install a liner inside the existing chimney or to install an additional vent through the foundation wall. The construction offices suggests that homeowners should determine what steps are needed to adequately vent all heating and cooling appliances during the process of securing estimates for installation of new appliances from contractors. 

For more information, call the Department of Community Services construction office at 908-273-6408.