For heating in my house, I've got a Burnham Series 2 (model B) gas boiler, and with all the snow this past winter (I live in Boston) I've had problems with backdraft causing the boiler to automatically turn off.
My theory is that all the snow covering the foundation prevented enough air from getting into the basement and causing negative pressure in the basement. When I put my hand under the hood I could feel a strong flow of air going down.
My temporary solution was to open a small basement window. Even though it was covered in snow, it let enough air in to stop the backdraft. While this worked, I'd like a better and more permanent solution so I'm looking for guidance here.
The boiler setup is unconventional, and plumbers doing maintenance have been surprised so I'll share a few pictures to explain.
Although the boiler is right next to a chimney, because of shoddy work by the contractor who flipped the house about 10 years ago, the exhaust goes through a long exhaust pipe that is nearly horizontal across the basement and then goes up the outside of the house.
My understanding is that the nearly horizontal exhaust pipe going across the basement is not a good thing because it hinders air flow. Rerouting the exhaust pipe does not seem feasible. What other solutions are there? Or should I just continue to open the basement window when needed?
This is the boiler:
This is the start of the exhaust pipe:
This is the exhaust pipe going across the basement:
This is the exhaust pipe going up the side of the house: