Ceiling insulation in boiler room

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Old 03-17-11, 02:42 PM
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Ceiling insulation in boiler room

I have a utility room that is approx 15X12 in my basement that is unfinished. In this room is the oil fired boiler. The exterior walls all have insulation that is covered with a vapor barrier but the ceiling has fiberglass batts (unfaced) between the basement and the first floor. There is not plastic or sheetrock covering this. My question is should I pull the insulation out of this room as the fibers floating around this room are constanly getting sucked into the burner? The room is always warm so I dont think that removing the insulation would lead to any heat loss on the first floor over this room (if anything wouldnt the warm air rise to this room?) People have told me to cover this with sheetrock but with all the pipes running off of the boiler for the different zones this would be a nightmare. What are your thoughts? Pull it out...if not why not?.. leave it in? I could put plastic over it but if a pipe ever leaked I would never know until the pool of water ripped the plastic down.

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Old 03-17-11, 05:14 PM
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If I happen to be the only one that answers, don't go by my answer alone, but I say to pull it out. Since the walls are all insulated there won't be heat 'lost' by doing so.

Yes, warm air does rise, and HEAT RADIATES in the direction of cooler objects. Either way, I would bet that some of that heat that you are trapping in that utility room with the insulation on the ceiling would in fact find it's way into the home.

Please wear a proper filter mask when doing so! and EYE PROTECTION! You do NOT want them fibers falling into your eyes... trust me on that! When done, thoroughly vacuum every square inch of floor wall ceiling and be done with it.

I do have one caveat to add... your local building codes might have some sort of clause about 20 min fire rating in the boiler room, in which case X type sheetrock might be called for anyway.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 06:00 AM
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DO you run the boiler in the summer for DHW ?
If so, then that heat will go up and put added load on your A/C system.

It's hard to say if any drywall used would need to be fire rated.
Some jurisdictions might require it, here we don't specifically require fire rated boiler room, but it has to be sealed if there is a natural draft boiler being used.
And CO detectors eveywhere...

I think I would cover it with typvek / typar as it tend to be breathable as apposed to vapour barrier.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 07:14 AM
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Tyvek sounds like a good idea... but further on the fire code angle, I would check first that it is ok for exposed interior application in a utility room. Might not be... I know for fact that codes don't allow kraft faced fiberglas insulation exposed... Tyvek might not be 'flammable'... but check first.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 09:09 AM
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I do run the boiler in the summer for our hot water. (no water heater heater comes straight from boiler). Although this room is below grade on two sides, I am not sure how much warmth it would produce that would rise up. Maybe I should wait and check the temp of that room in the summer.

Do you think that the fibers floating around that room are of concern or am I just waisting my time? I have the boiler cleaned/tuned each year but around a years time it starts to get gummed up again. I never remember having a boiler get so gummed up as this one in a years time. Would it be better to put a fresh air kit on here? I have heard that these fresh air kits are not the best idea because of the changes in outside air temp/moisture level messes with how the burner was tuned for the weather that day.

Its a well mclain gold pwgto3 that is direct vented with a beckett burner. Its about 10 years old.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 02:22 PM
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You may not have enough combustion air... there are ways of getting extra combustion air into the room that won't lose much heat.

The fibers aren't a good idea for your boiler, OR your lungs!
 
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Old 03-18-11, 03:38 PM
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Is it worth putting the becket air boot that brings fresh air down to the burner? Or could I just build my own sheetmetal box around the burner that is piped to the outside air that way I dont have to take apart the burner to install the boot. (i am pretty good at sheetmetal work so it wont be a hack.) Have a flapper in it to only allow it to allow air in when it draws air.

It was pretty warm here today and the room only got to about 67.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 03:39 PM
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I'll throw in my two cents to the mix.
Removing the insulation may make your upstairs area more noisy...something to consider before you get to ripping it down. Covering it with a breathable layer not a bad idea if you want to keep it in place for sound deadening purposes. Or maybe a cover it with a radiant barrier (perforated aluminum on both sides with a fiber barrier in the center).

You may want to consider insulating any exposed pipes to try and keep the heat in the boiler during the summer time. No use paying to cool the hot air generated by it in summertime.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 06:22 PM
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Maybe replacing the fiberglass with roxul mineral wool will be an improvement. I have never touched the stuff, but it might not drop fibers like the fiberglass does.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 07:39 PM
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Introducing makeup air

I dont think this needs more makeup air as it only gums up 1 time a year right around the tune but I have been looking into this for some time thinking it may be part of the problem:
Patriot Supply - 51747

I rather not pull apart the burner to install this. Has anyone had any experience with this other method where you install a duct down to the floor (could also add a mechanical damper so only open when boiler runs:
Combustion Air

My question with option 2 and option 1 is would this pull in any of the direct vented gases? The only wall to run this out is the same with the direct vent.

Would these make the room extremely cold?
 
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