Down Periscope or Crazy A/C Venting Gone Wrong?

%between%Had a new A/C unit put in yesterday. They used existing pipes and swore that this is what manufacturer guide lines and code say it has to look like.

I’m not a professional, but I can’t help but throw common sense at the problem and see it doesn’t look right. I’ve never in my life seen anything like this and as military wife, I’ve seen a lot of houses all over the country.

Can someone please offer me any input on what the vents ought to look like, please?

Links to pictures

Laura, there are likely too many additional questions that need to be answered before anyone can comment on your post. Describe the new system a little more, was the entire A/C system replaced including the outside condensing unit, the inside air handler and furnace, is it a high efficiency system (those ‘pipes’ look like they may be associated with a high efficiency system), where are you located? One photo appears to show a window well so I’m thinking you have a basement where the HVAC system is located, correct?

Here’s what I know:
The entire system was replaced including the outside condensing unit, the inside air handler and furnace. It is it a high efficiency system. The pipes are the intake and exhaust for the HVAC system that is located in the basement. We
live in the D.C. area.
Does this help?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Yes, that should help. There are several good HVAC guys here on the board so let’s wait for them to reply. We don’t see too many high efficiency systems in my neck of the woods so I can’t comment with any certainty. I did look at a sample high efficiency system installation manual here. Figure 4b on page 9 shows a couple of examples of how to horizontally vent a system. That’s similar to your photos but probably more aesthetically appealing (I’m trying to be polite here, your photos of how they vented the system look pretty ugly :(, I’d be PO’d too). In any case, let’s see if some other, more knowledgeable HVAC folks reply soon.

Laura, while we are waiting for other inspectors to get back from their Labor Day excursions I thought I’d give you a little more to ponder. I asked another inspector to review your questions and photos and he responded with:

Was the water heater also replaced and by what?

The specifics for installation of exhaust and intake pipes for high efficiency equipment are manufacturer dependent based on the make and model of the equipment, and also anticipated snow levels in your area. But it does look like typical vertical offsets for ground clearance … although a little far off the wall.

The pipe reduction does look a little strange, and I haven’t come across that on any installations for typical equipment used locally, but it might be something new or specific to that manufacturer.

I would review the manufacturer’s installations instructions and any aesthetic concerns you have with the contractor and/or call the manufacturer of the equipment.

Water heater hasn’t been replaced.

Michael, A great big thank you for the information. I’ve got it printed out and will use it to question a rep. I have coming out tomorrow to look at the pipes. Yeah, very frustrating to see this work and not question the integrity of the rest of the work done. As my husband is on a deployment, I’ve got to let this guy know I mean business and the bottom line is to correct the errors. Fwiw, I walked around my neighborhood and looked at some new construction homes and took pixs of their vents and they look similar to the manual configuration you posted.

Thanks, I was just wondering if perhaps one of those pipes would be for the water heater.

Sometimes they extend further than usual so that it has the proper clearance to door/openable windows. Around here, 12 inches is required for an appliance up to 100,000 BTU and 3 feet for an appliance over 100,000 BTU.

Laura…keep us posted and in a worst case scenario one of us could probably help you find a DC area inspector that is knowledgeable in such matters to assist you. BTW, thank you and your husband for his service. We will do our best to have your’s and his back while he’s protecting us.

Hi Mike, Thanks for your support. Home improvement stuff is such a guy world but I took a stand with the company and talked to a “supervisor” and got some action. He came out and I showed him the concerns I had with the work (I had printed your email with the comments you made btw) and while I was polite, I let him know that the job was done sloppy and he admitted it was and I asked him how was he going to fix it. A new crew came out and completed unfinished work and the guys took out the pipes that I had posted pix of and re-did it. I don’t have the time to post a pix now, but i will follow up with a pix. The work was all completed and the new crew was pretty stellar. I had a county inspector come out this morning and it passed. A headache for sure, but I truly appreciate the help from this site and yourself :slight_smile: Laura

That’s good to hear. Glad things worked out for you.