People want to maximize space in the house, the bedroom included. What are the allowed appliances in the bedroom?
The trio talks about having a gas fireplace, natural gas furnaces, room and water heaters, decorative appliances, and others. Reuben establishes that gas appliances are not allowed in sleeping rooms and bathrooms unless specific requirements are met. He highlights the need for a direct vent two-pipe system.
Reuben talks about compliance with the Fuel Gas Code. They discuss the code exceptions as well as the qualifications of appliances for them to be allowed or disallowed in the sleeping rooms. For more on this topic, check out Reuben’s latest blog post on the topic, Are furnaces allowed in bedrooms?
Send your comments, corrections, and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Bill Oelrich: You’re listening to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich, alongside Tessa Murry and Reuben Saltzman. As always, your three-legged stool, coming to you from The Northland, talking all things houses, home inspections and anything else that’s rattling around in our brain. Woohoo. Welcome to season number four of the Structure Tech Podcast. It is extremely hard to believe that we have been doing this for nearly four years. What do you think of that? Our little experiment, yeah…
Reuben Saltzman: Man, fourth season. That’s crazy. It feels like we just started. We don’t even know what we’re doing still.
Tessa Murry: We still don’t know what we’re doing. We still struggle with regular technical issues every time we try to record. We… [laughter] Our mics going out, our headsets not working. Hey, but we’re still here.
BO: We’re here. We’re persistent. Some say we maybe have a little bit of grit to just stay determined, to get this thing done on a weekly basis. But there’s no pats on the back here. I’m a little bit surprised that we’ve been able to string all of these together, honestly. But I enjoy it. I enjoy the chance to pick on you building science and inspection people a little bit.
RS: I love all the stuff that we learn. I’ve learned so much from doing this podcast.
TM: I know, me too. We’ve had so many wonderful guests on. And I think we should take a moment just to thank all of our listeners, too. Oh my gosh, we wouldn’t do this if you guys were not getting something out of this, too. So, thank you to everyone who takes the time to listen to these ramblings about houses. [laughter]
BO: Yeah. We often discuss what we want to talk about, and then off down a rabbit trail we go.
RS: Yeah, it’s so funny. Between what our planning sessions are about what we’re gonna talk about and then what the show ends up turning into like, “Oh well, it’s not at all what we meant to do, but we think it was a good show. Let’s stick with it.”
BO: Well, for example, today we’re gonna talk about gas appliances in bedrooms. Scintillating topic here, but there’s more geared to discuss than you might actually think. Now, I did wanna say one thing, Reuben, it’s Tessa shouting out to the audience. We’d love to hear from the audience. Where can they send comments? Please send questions. Send corrections. We don’t know everything. We’re not even close to knowing everything. So, if we say something wrong, please let us know. If you have questions, please let us know. And Reuben, where do they go?
RS: Yeah, you can go to email@example.com. That’s the one to send thoughts, questions, barbs, whatever. We love feedback. And also we frequently say, “Oh, we’re gonna put those notes in the show notes.” We probably don’t mention this often enough. We transcribe all of this for anybody who’s hearing-impaired or whatever. We send it off to a transcription company, and then we have a human on our own team, Peter, who goes over all of it and makes sure that any glaring errors are fixed. And we put links in the show notes. It’s a quick summary. And you can find that by going to structuretalk.com, and it’s hosted on our website. And the podcasts are set up a lot like blog posts, where we’ve got a separate link for each one of our episodes.
BO: Excellent, thank you. Okay, so let’s get to the topic at hand. We discussed this a little bit on a previous episode, but we thought we’d dive a little bit deeper into gas appliances in bedrooms. What’s allowable? People like to maximize space in their house, and oftentimes here in the Northland, we go deep and try to use that basement corner space as a sleeping area or something like that, because you can put an egress window in. Why did we even get on this topic?
RS: We got on this topic, Bill, ’cause during another one of our podcasts, we were talking about what constitutes a legal bedroom. And then, we started talking about whether you could have gas appliances located there or not. And we thought this is just such a deep topic and that there’s so much to cover that we shouldn’t try to cram it into one show that’s only about bedrooms.
RS: And it’s just one of those rules that I always tried to follow when I was blogging. Every time I’ve got a blog post, and there’s really two things that I’m covering, like if I’m talking about heat recovery ventilators, if I’m talking about the need for them and I’m talking about how they work, and I’m really trying to split this off and cover two topics. It’s like, “All right, stop.” You have two different things to write about here: Why houses need HRVs and how HRVs work. And it’s the same thing here. We agreed that we’re cramming too much into this one podcast. Now this… Today’s podcast might be a light one. Maybe it’s not a super deep topic, but if you’re looking for it, this is where to find it. And I think podcasts are a lot like blog posts, or anything written or anything else, it should… Or meetings, especially meetings, right? You know what I’m gonna say, should only be as long as it has to be.
TM: Amen to that.
RS: Yeah. You got a one-hour meeting scheduled? If you’re done in a half hour, end the meeting. Please.
TM: Yes. Yeah, I think this will be maybe a 30-minute podcast episode. I don’t think it needs to be longer than that.
BO: Okay, Reuben, which gas appliances have you run across in bedrooms that made you go, “Hmm”?
RS: Well, I can tell you the first one that I kinda made a stink about, and I was totally wrong… This was way early on in my home inspection career. There was a gas fireplace in a bedroom, and I don’t know what I was thinking, I don’t even remember the details of it, but I had called this out as being improper. And this was on a Truth-in-Housing evaluation in Minneapolis. And I had said, “You can’t have gas appliances like this in bedrooms.” But then as it turned out, the person who put it in or somebody else came back and they’re like, “Well, this is a direct vent appliance. It’s got this special venting. It’s a two-pipe system, where it takes all of the combustion air directly from the outside, mixes it with the appliance, exhausts all of the exhaust gases right back to the outdoors, and you can never actually reach in and touch the flame. None of the air in this thing communicates with the rest of the air in the house, and it’s not an issue.” And I dug into it a little bit and I went, “Oh my goodness. There is a major egg on my face. I got this one totally wrong. There’s nothing wrong with this installation.” And that was my… I don’t know, that was the first time I actually took the time to read about appliance locations in the Fuel Gas Code, found under Section 303.3 of the Minnesota State Fuel Gas Code.
RS: And now, ever since then, I have been very aware of where it is and what it says. And it’s just one of those things where for anybody who finds appliances in bedrooms and… I’m sorry, Bill, I’m giving you a very long winded answer. That was a gas fireplace. Your question was what appliance. And I went way down a road. Tessa, how about you? What other gas appliances do you see in bedrooms?
TM: You know, I think most commonly what I’ve run into is furnaces, natural gas furnaces, located kind of in a bedroom closet, or right off a bedroom. And there’s no door separating utility room from a bedroom. Yeah. So I’d say furnaces and occasionally water heaters too. If it’s like utility room. Those are the two main ones, I guess. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a boiler in a bedroom. Have you?
RS: I have never seen a boiler in a bedroom, but yeah. I’m with you, Tess. I’ve seen a lot of water heaters, a lot of furnaces in bedrooms. Yep. And so often it’s not that you have the appliance just sitting right out in the open, but they’ve got like a little room attached to the bedroom or maybe the utility room is only accessible by going through the bedroom. I think that’s kinda a more common scenario.
TM: Yeah. Definitely. I would agree with that. Yeah. And I just wanna say too, Reuben, thank you for sharing that story about your early experience with calling out a gas fireplace as being a concern. I just appreciate your honesty and humility with that learning situation, because we all gotta learn from our mistakes. Right? And I never would’ve thought about, to be honest with you, calling out a fireplace in a bedroom because I see so many of them. But it is a potential safety issue. I have come across some gas fireplaces that actually are leaking exhaust gases back into the room. I’ve come across that where they’ve got like a fireplace that’s like those really fancy ones that’s between the bedroom and bathroom wall, and there’s like a big jetted bathtub on the other side of it, and it’s leaking carbon monoxide back into the space. And so even if you do have a gas fireplace in a bedroom, it’s still a good idea to turn it on, let it run for a while. And then, you know, check around the outside of it for any potential combustion gas leaks.
RS: I’m sure we did a whole podcast episode on that, where we talked about the procedure for testing for exhaust gas leaks at gas fireplaces and ANSI standards, all that stuff.
TM: Yeah. Sure we did.
BO: Can you help me again understand why this “You can’t enter a furnace room through a bedroom” is a thing? And let me explain why I’m somewhat confused. Because you could take that very same situation in the basement, and let’s call it a family room, where there’s a couch where people could sleep and there’s egress, and you’ve got all of those good things. And there’s a door right there to a furnace room, and nobody objects to that. And your kids might be down there sleeping, just the same as they would be sleeping in a bedroom. What’s the big deal about this accessing a utility room or furnace room?
RS: You know, Bill, we talk about bedroom, we keep saying the word “bedroom”. But as we discussed on our last podcast where we talked about the legal definition of a bedroom, the building code doesn’t actually say “bedroom”. What it says, and let’s just read a little bit from section 303.3 that I already referenced. And again, this is the Minnesota state Fuel Gas Code. If you’re outside of Minnesota, it’s gonna be the National Fuel Gas Code. The language is the same. It talks about prohibited locations. And this is not just furnaces, but this is for gas appliances. It says, “Appliances shall not be located in sleeping rooms.” So if you wanna call your living room a sleeping room, if people regularly sleep down there, well, then I guess you probably can’t put it there either Bill. But, “it shall not be located in sleeping rooms, bathrooms, toilet rooms, storage closets, or”, here’s a big one for residential, “surgical rooms.”
RS: No, this is not a residential code. This is just a safety code. “Or surgical rooms, or in a space that opens only into such rooms or spaces except where the installation complies with one of the following.” And then they go on to list a bunch of exceptions. So the building code says, you can’t do it. And Bill, your question is why can’t you have a room that opens only into that furnace room? Well, what if somebody just leaves the door open. Then it might as well be located in the same room. So there’s your answer, Bill. Now, if you got a living room in the basement and you’re calling it a sleeping room, well, then I guess you can’t do it. But most people wouldn’t call that living room a sleeping room.
BO: Okay. Fair enough. Carbon monoxide apparently is held in place by drywall. It doesn’t leak through any of these walls or anything like that. So, like it’s somehow safe over there versus not safe over there. That’s kind of where I’m going with this.
RS: You know what’s really interesting Bill? I wrote a blog post on this. We will put the blog post in the show notes. I already told everybody where to go for the show notes. And I tried to find this reference before writing this post and I could not find it, but I had an old version of the Minnesota State Fuel Gas Code, or it may have been the mechanical code at the time. And this was a version of the code written in the ’80s. And I wish I had it so I could quote directly what it said, because I know I read it. But it said the reason that you’re not allowed to have appliances in these sleeping rooms is because of occupants’ tendency to use this as a heating and drying appliance. People have a tendency to take damp clothes or damp towels or things that they want to get warm, and put them on the appliances or around the vents to help warm them up. This is what it actually said in the gas code.
TM: For the eighties?
RS: Yes, yes. And it said, that’s why you can’t do it now. I mean, I’m sure someone’s gonna write in and say, “Well, that’s not true” but I know I read it.
TM: Well, come to think of it, I guess, I have seen occasionally people use the flue as a clothesline. I’ve seen people drape things on that before, which is really scary. It obviously gets hot. And that could be a bad situation. Starting some clothes on fire. But, huh, that is interesting.
RS: Yeah. Yeah. There was no mention of carbon monoxide in the code. It just talked about occupants’ behavior as being the reason for it. Now maybe it’s changed over the years. You know, granted that was the ’80s. I don’t know how long ago was that? 30 years ago. 40 years ago. I suppose it’s forty. Where did time fly? Thirty, forty, yeah.
TM: What year is this?
RS: What year are we in?
RS: Yeah. But, okay. So, we’re getting into some specifics. So, we just established that you’re not allowed to have a gas appliance located in any of these places. Sleeping rooms, bathrooms are kind of the two biggest ones, and then there’s some one-off specific things. And then it gives you this big exception, it says, “Unless the installation complies with one of the following,” and then it gives you a big list of things. And it says, “If it meets any one of these, then you can have the appliance in that location.” Tessa, why don’t you explain all of them to us.
TM: Let’s take it one bite at a time here. Okay, so I think the first one is probably gonna be if it’s a direct vent appliance, right? Like you said with the fireplace. If there’s a pipe that brings combustion air in from the outside, and then a pipe that exhausts that exhaust gas directly to the exterior, and all that combustion is happening in a sealed container, that kind of appliance is okay. So we see a lot of sealed combustion furnaces, high efficiency, the two-pipe system, that would be okay…
RS: Tessa, let me get into some specifics here, Tess. So we’re saying, if you’ve got a furnace and it’s got a PVC pipe coming out, it is a direct vent appliance, right?
TM: Oh, I see where you’re going with this. Well, we do see some high efficiency furnaces that get installed with just one pipe. Where the one pipe is going to the exterior and that’s venting all the combustion gases to the outside. But for some reason, they don’t install the second pipe that brings the fresh air in from the outside. What they do is they just leave that pipe, usually it’ll come off the top of the furnace and kind of have a curve to it, and it’s just pulling air directly from the room for combustion. It’s not pulling air from the outside for combustion. And we see that, too. And technically, that is not really, I don’t think meeting these guidelines, is it?
RS: No, no. That… And in every one of those furnace manuals, they have installation instructions for a direct vent and a non-direct vent installation. And that would be considered the non-direct vent installation. And it’s got different clearances required to openable windows and all this other stuff. But yeah, you’re right, Tess. It definitely does not meet this exception.
TM: Okay, that’s good to know. Yeah, if you see a furnace with just one pipe coming off it to the outside, that would not be okay. You’d need to install the second pipe. Okay, what’s the second one, Reuben?
RS: The next one… And this is one, I don’t know if I’ve ever even seen this, it kind of touches on what I was just talking about. It would be a vented room heater. A room heater. Now, I’m thinking of one of these little freestanding gas units, those really old ones that would get dangerously hot.
RS: You could have a wall furnace. Those things had very low BTUs. I can’t remember the last time I saw a wall furnace on a newer home. Those are old.
TM: I know.
RS: You could have a vented decorative appliance, and that’s basically like a gas fireplace. You could have a vented gas fireplace, a vented gas fireplace heater or decorative appliances, all these different things. And then, you gotta have a room that meets a certain volume criteria. And we’re not gonna get into all the specifics, but I’ve dug into what this means, and the code’s gonna tell you, “Look under Section 304.5 and calculate how much volume you have in the room.” You need a big room to do this. And I looked at what size room you might need for, say, a 30,000 BTU fireplace, and it was gigantic. So, if you have a big enough room, you could have one of these appliances. This is kind of a one-off. This is not a common thing, and I don’t see enough of this to really talk very intelligently about it.
TM: Yeah, I’m trying to think of a situation where I’ve seen something like that. And I honestly can’t.
TM: Again, can you define what a decorative appliance would be?
RS: Well, there’s two types of gas fireplaces. One of them is a decorative gas appliance, and that’s a gas fireplace that’s manufactured to ANSI standard Z21.50. And it’s where you can’t have a thermostat on it. It’s only there to kick on, provide some beauty to the room. It might provide some…
RS: Incidental heat, some ambiance. That would be a decorative appliance. Now, if it’s manufactured to Z-21.88, and you can have a thermostat hooked up to it, then it’s also a heating appliance. You can use it to provide heat to the room. Now, your next question, I know you, Tess, you’re gonna ask, what’s the difference between the two? And the difference, this is my laugh-out-loud answer. I’m not being serious in this. This is tongue-in-cheek, but the difference is the standard that they are certified to.
TM: I can’t tell by looking at them.
RS: That’s the difference.
TM: Yeah, right?
RS: No, no, you cannot tell.
TM: The only way you can know is by looking at the little data tag, usually somewhere underneath it, right?
RS: Yes. Yes. I don’t think there is any other difference other than the little print that’s on the appliance. Seriously.
TM: Yeah. Okay.
BO: Hey Reuben, what do you call that appliance that sits in your dad’s cabin?
RS: Right out in the middle of the open. It is connected to a thermostat, so I would say that’s a heater.
BO: But that’s not a decorative gas appliance?
RS: Not… Well, no, not once it’s connected to a thermostat.
BO: Okay. And for anybody who’s wondering why I’m asking. This just looks like an old wood-burning stove, but it’s not. It’s got guts that are natural gas components.
RS: Yup. And it is a more modern appliance, and it’s manufactured to that standard I mentioned there, and it’s properly installed. Just in case anybody is wondering. It’s legit.
TM: You pulled permits for it and everything, right? Oh, wait… Oh, I’m sorry.
RS: It was there when we bought the cabin. [laughter] Oh, I’m sure somebody pulled a permit. Yes, Tessa.
BO: But is that appliance allowable in a sleeping room?
RS: Yes. Yes, it is. For a couple of reasons. Number one, it is a direct vent appliance installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s listing and instructions. I mean, that alone is there to say it’s allowable. Now…
BO: That’s direct vent, it’s…
RS: It is. Yup.
BO: Where does the air come in from?
RS: It’s got a two pipe system. It’s got an outer pipe that brings combustion air in and then it’s got an inner pipe that exhausts the exhaust gas. And the flames are sealed off with a big piece of glass and a gasket.
TM: But we’re talking about sleeping rooms, and this appliance is installed in your living room, right?
BO: Well, yeah…
RS: Yeah, but…
BO: That’s a poor example. I’m just asking if you take it, that appliance and put it in a bedroom or sleeping room, is it allowable?
RS: Yeah, it would still be allowable. And you’d make a really hard case, now we’re getting into some personal details here, but in the basement living room at the cabin or whatever do you wanna call that room, there’s two bunk beds set up. You’d have a really hard case to say that’s not a sleeping room. So even though it’s not really a bedroom, whatever gas appliance is in there needs to be safe for sleeping areas, and it is. It is.
RS: Alright, so that was exception number two, one that we spent 35 minutes talking about [laughter] and we’re not qualified to talk about.
TM: How many are there? How many exceptions are there total?
RS: Well, there’s two more that are deleted in Minnesota, and I’m not even gonna get into these. Basically, it talks about very low BTU room heaters that are not vented. Unvented gas appliances!
TM: That’s so scary.
RS: And they have specific… I think it’s like under 10,000 BTUs or something like that. And it’s all these other requirements, but in Minnesota, we just cross those off entirely, because unvented gas appliances are not allowed in Minnesota. And…
TM: Except in your kitchen, and they’re called ovens.
BO: Well, they’re…
BO: In the utility room, and they’re called dryers.
TM: Yeah, well.
RS: Wait, dryer?
TM: Dryer is vent to the outside though. Well, they should hopefully.
RS: They do. They all do.
TM: Check your dryer, make sure it’s venting to the outside.
RS: Yeah. Yeah.
TM: But yeah, ovens. And we all spend so much time in our kitchens, especially when we’re using the oven, of course, you know? Baking, cooking, whatever. And so, we’re using them…
RS: Yeah, okay, so maybe I wasn’t being correct with my wording, what I should have said is an unvented room heater. Unvented heaters are not allowed in Minnesota.
TM: Yeah, okay.
RS: And just in case you’re wondering what that is, I mean, it’s usually gonna be a white appliance, it gets mounted in a wall and there ain’t no vent. It just vents right out the front. And you may not know that’s what you got the first time you see it. I know one of the inspectors on our team saw one for the first time this year, and they didn’t know what they were looking at when they saw it. They didn’t realize this is an unvented appliance. You know, just because they’re illegal in Minnesota, it doesn’t mean that you can’t buy them. I mean, people still sell them, people still put them in their houses, but they’re not allowed.
TM: You know, in Minnesota we don’t see a lot of them, but I would think in some southern states where houses were not built with a central heating system, where they didn’t have boilers and they weren’t using a furnace and all that. I’m thinking like Louisiana or Florida or I don’t know, maybe even Texas too where they’ve got… Maybe each room has a kind of a space heater somehow, or a built-in wall heater that maybe they run across these more. I’m totally speculating. I don’t know. It’d be curious to find out.
BO: It’s probably like the fish house heaters that go right through the wall, directly out the wall, and so there is some venting, but burns the air on the inside and exhausts to the outside.
TM: Yeah. I’m curious, anyone listening to this podcast who inspects in the south or has a house in the south, and you’ve got these individual heaters for each room, let us know. Is it gas…
RS: And are you as aghast to them as we are? [laughter] When you come across them. ‘Cause when you see them…
TM: Good one.
RS: I just wonder who puts them in their house? Who thinks this is okay? And…
TM: And do… Yeah. Do they still use them down there?
RS: Yeah. Yeah, and part of the reason we don’t like them is the potential carbon monoxide issue, but let’s just say, I know they all have the CO sensor and it’s gonna… Or an O2 sensor, it shuts down if it doesn’t have enough O2. And some manufacturer is gonna send us an email, our’s is safe, ’cause blah, blah. Yeah, fine, don’t care, maybe it’s safe, but all of that exhaust gas coming into the house isn’t good for the house either, that’s a ton of moisture you’re pumping into the home. We already have a hard enough time dealing with humidity in houses during the winter in Minnesota and that huge difference between inside and outside. You end up with condensation problems. Don’t tell me you’re not gonna have condensation problems venting this appliance into your house.
TM: Good point. Man, that just… I had a flashback of a house before I worked at Structure Tech, when I was working at this home performance company that had huge condensation issues in the winter time in their house and they were having… I remember they called us out and it was like a storey and a half house. And upstairs they pulled a picture off of a wall and there was all this mold growing behind it. And the walls were just slick with moisture. And they were using a gas space heater in this house. And I remember, I calculated out how much water was being pumped into this house, and it was a ton. They didn’t have any ventilation and the walls were cold, because they weren’t insulated. And it was just a nasty mess, how much moisture those things pump out. So, yeah, a good point.
RS: Yeah. Yup.
BO: Okay, Reuben, I just have one thing to say, you can use those heaters in and they’re not a problem. ‘Cause you just said, don’t tell me they’re not a problem, so I’m gonna tell you they’re not a problem.
RS: How dare you? [chuckle] An unvented gas space heater, and it doesn’t cause moisture problems?
BO: I’m just needling you, man. Sorry.
RS: No, I don’t buy it. You could say it, but… You know?
BO: It got through somebody’s standards of testing…
RS: Prove it.
BO: Somewhere along the line.
TM: Oh, man.
RS: It didn’t in Minnesota.
TM: Well… And just because something gets through testing standards or whatever, how does that make it…
BO: Okay, now you’re opening up a whole can of worms. The code says you refer to the manufacturer’s like, ratings and testings and stuff like that. And if they say it’s okay, then isn’t it okay?
RS: Yeah, there’s two different things here: There’s occupant safety and then there’s building performance. And I think a huge reason they’re not allowed in Minnesota is building performance.
BO: Cool, okay, any other appliances that we’ve missed?
RS: Well, you could take all of these appliances and you could go to exception number five. And this is kind of the other big one, the two big ones we see, one is the direct vent appliance, and the other is this one where you take that appliance, you put it in its own room, and then… And that room can open to the bedroom or closet or whatever, but you make sure that it’s not used for any other purpose, it’s just the appliance room, it’s not like a storage closet. And then, you gotta provide a solid weather strip door and put a self-closer on there. So it’s sealed off from the rest of the room. And then you provide some combustion air for that room, you have some type of tube coming into that room to provide combustion air for the appliance. You do all that and you’re good. You can actually have that room attached and only accessible through the bedroom or bathroom.
TM: And just to clarify, that combustion air is basically, it’s just a tube that brings fresh air in from the outside, directly from the outside.
RS: Directly from the outdoors. Exactly. In accordance with Section 304.6, of course, yes.
TM: I think I’ve seen that situation a couple of times.
RS: It’s a way of getting around one of these installations, to make it a legal install without having to replace your appliance. Yeah.
RS: It’s not that big of a deal to do this.
BO: Sure, it’s not, but it seems like a wonky approach. But people do weird things.
RS: Little wonky, but it can happen. And then of course, there’s one other exception, and this is a new one that recently got added, is that you can have a gas clothes dryer in a bathroom or a toilet room, as long as you’ve got an opening that’s at least a hundred square inches and it goes to a space outside of a sleeping room or bathroom or something like that. So you gotta have a way to bring air into that room and then you can have a gas dryer located, say, in a bathroom. And I bring this one up, well, number one, because it’s on the list, but number two, I used to live in a town home in St. Louis Park that had that exact setup. Now going back, I actually can’t even remember if it was electric or gas. Odds are it was electric. But I had that exact setup that we’re describing, had a clothes… A washer and a dryer in the upstairs bath.
BO: Can you talk just briefly about gas dryers? Obviously, you exhaust the moisture out through the vent. Do the exhaust fumes also get collected in… Are they dispersed out through that same vent?
RS: That’s exactly right, yup.
BO: And what does that look like? I mean, are those fumes just rising up and then as that air is moving out, they just sorta collect in with the moist air and away they go?
RS: That’s the idea. Yeah. I don’t know what the BTU rating on a clothes dryer is, but I gotta think it’s fairly low. I’ve never actually looked. You know what it is, Tess?
TM: No, I haven’t either.
BO: It’s a project for Reuben. I was gonna ask about dryers because you see dryers in walk-in closet sometimes, when those are inside of sleeping rooms in theory. And I was just wondering how that sort of meshed with this conversation?
RS: Well, the old Google machine tells me somewhere between 20 to 25,000 BTUs is average for a clothes dryer, so pretty low.
BO: Okay. I think we’ve done appliances inside of sleeping rooms about as thoroughly as you can do them.
RS: This is way more than I thought we had to talk about. [laughter] When we… We go on the… We go down the little rabbit holes. That’s alright, this is a really specific topic, but it’s a fun topic. I mean, I don’t know, it’s fun discussing this stuff.
BO: And speaking of that appliance I mentioned in your folks’ cabin, you know, you talk about people possibly putting combustibles on top of that gas appliance. Well, that one’s real easy to put things on top of ’cause it’s a box in your room and you could very easily get in trouble with something like that, but…
RS: Yeah, although I’m sure nobody at my parents’ cabin has ever laid a towel or swimsuit on there to dry out. It’s never happened, Bill, so don’t even suggest it. Although, you know what has happened?
BO: That’s the primary heat.
RS: Aah, you know, it’s that and there’s baseboard electric heaters. It has been used for primary heat many a time, because there was one of those, what do they call it, like a saver switch. Where the electric heat will only run during the evening to get a better rate. Yeah, yeah, off-peak. Excuse me, not saver switch. And we’d come up to the cabin during the day, you know, we’d get there, at say 3:00 in the afternoon on a Friday, and the off-peak system is still suppressing your electric heaters. And somebody turned it all down, and so you get there and it’s 50 degrees, and then none of the electric heaters will kick on until like 7 o’clock at night or whenever it is, so we would crank up those gas appliances for sure.
RS: We would rely on those to get the heat up. Definitely.
BO: Okay, I think we should put a wrap on this one, if you don’t mind, but…
BO: Certainly if we’ve said anything wrong and we’ve offended any gas burning enthusiasts who know much more about these appliances than we do, Reuben, where should they send their comments to?
RS: Who cares at Structure… [laughter] No, just kidding. No, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. [laughter] We care.
BO: We care, we care very much. And after four years, we still care, so.
RS: That’s right.
TM: We do.
BO: Well, after three complete years, in the beginning of the fourth year, we…
RS: Entering our fourth season. That’s right.
TM: There we go.
BO: Very good.
RS: Episode one, season four.
BO: All right, well, let’s officially put a wrap on this. You’ve been listening to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich, alongside Tessa Murry, Reuben Saltzman. Thanks for listening. We really appreciate you guys being here and we will catch you next time.