Men Inside Out: Furnace Maintenance

Just a few decades ago, the start of school in the fall also indicated that it was time to prime that tank of fuel oil or fill up a charcoal container.

With colder weather soon approaching, everyone then was thinking about making sure the furnace had plenty of fuel. And he needed it. Most homes have a 50% or 60% efficient furnace with a large stone chimney running through the center of the home.

At the time, even updated units might have been large old asbestos coils “octopus” with gas stove and supply ducts, (octopus arms), which funneled warm air to a few floor logs throughout the first floor.

The return air “system” was a grid cut into the floor.

A 50% efficient oven is just that; Which means that half of the heat energy generated by the combustion of the fuel you purchased goes directly to the top of the chimney.

The exhaust was so warm that birds would gather on top of the chimneys to stay comfortable. They often exit from inhaling exhaust air and fall down the chimney where they either died or recovered while flying around your basement.

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