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I have a very old furnace (HVAC) in a utility room (basement) with slatted door that’s very loud and was wondering if I could enclose the utility room (with mineral wool and solid doors) by adding vents (for air combustion intake) to the adjacent room (tool room) to the utility room? The HVAC has a air return from the rooms but no air intake from outside. Is it feasible and is it safe?

Thank you,

Pictures below to get an idea of the layout. If it helps we live in New Jersey, 1954 split level house.

The furnace is a 120,000btu and model number PBKM-LD20N120 (manual link furnace manual , the furnace and water heater have exhaust pipes leading to the chimney.

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You really do need the fresh air make up when venting to another room. When in training the reason for the 1 vent up high and 1 low was to circulate the the air in the room. So if you have the total square inches needed for the open combustion systems it would be safe but just into another room that may not have access to the same area that this room has may be un-safe

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  • The tool room has a L shape. On the left of the picture there are 2 slatted doors that give in the same room. Would that help? – GHES1986 Mar 15 at 22:21
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    That might be enough but in my jurisdiction they are very tough with changes to venting. They really want 100% sealed combustion with outside air source and vent. I understand this as a friend of mine died of CO poising. Carbon monoxide is absorbed into the bloodstream 200 times faster than Oxygen so you go to sleep and don’t wake up at high enough concentrations. Every restriction or change of direction reduces the fresh air and increased the chance of bad things. – Ed Beal Mar 15 at 22:31
  • Thanks for that. I understand and that’s why I m asking all the questions before doing something that would create a safety hazard. I have added a picture to show how the tool room is set up with the two louvered door. One thing I don’t understand is: what’s the point of the air return duct? We have one in pretty much every room, is that for air combustion? – GHES1986 Mar 15 at 23:11
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    Sorry about your friend. When my parents visit they stay in the basement, I have installed carbon monoxide detectors in every room. I m wondering if it might actually be safer to have the furnace room enclosed with a carbon monoxide alarm and one plugged in that actually measure 24/24 – GHES1986 Mar 15 at 23:15
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    You may get alarms when the wind blows all kinds of minor changes, prior to my friend I used to be no big deal, I had been in her home several times helping her with home maintenance things she needed help, open combustion water heater and furnace the vent failed. I know it was in a closet like yours or you want vents in door but not enough fresh air and no Co monitor. Since then I haven’t been as lax when looking at venting that reminds me of hers. – Ed Beal Mar 15 at 23:24

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