Back To All Posts

Make Up Air in Tight House Construction

New home builders in Maine have often included dedicated make up air supply for fireplace and wood stove locations, but as houses get tighter to conserve energy, make up air for other devices that exhaust air from the building envelope, like kitchen exhaust fans, should be considered.

Unfortunately, however, these items’ manufacturers are not typically prepared with recommendations and provisions to help homeowners and contractors determine what is best to do. An excellent article on this subject can be read here. Solutions to consider are selecting low CFM devices, re-circulating devices, or providing make-up air to avoid the pitfalls of high CFM air exhaust and a tight building envelope.

Depending on total square footage, even houses with whole-house air exchange systems may require additional makeup air if the air exhausted CFM volume exceeds the exchange system capacity. Of course, you could always open a window a little bit as many people have done for years to avoid back-drafting stoves and fireplaces, but with a little thought and advanced planning, that can hopefully be avoided.