Q&A / 

How to Install a Makeup Air Vent

Quick Column Summary:

  • Intake vent for makeup air
  • What height from the ground
  • Be aware of blockages

Randy King, who's in need of makeup air in Madison, WI, wrote:

"I saw your video on make-up air. I'm installing Skuttle's Model 216-6 (6") damper control and exterior intake vent.

Here's the vent Larry's installing. CLICK it to BUY it now.

Here's the vent Larry's installing. CLICK it to BUY it now.

The intake vent needs to exit through the rim joist, so it's about 8" from bottom of intake hood to ground. I plan on a little excavation/clearing and lining a small area with hard-surface (brick or whatever) under the vent. Do you have any thoughts on intake vent height and what else to look out for?"

Here's my answer:

I'd just make sure you check the exterior hood frequently. You don't want leaves or other debris to block it. With it so close to the ground, it doesn't take much to have a blockage.

You'll love the fresh air and you'll be much safer now!


7 Responses to How to Install a Makeup Air Vent

  1. I saw your website that talks about makeup air.
    I am remodeling an older house that had a floor furnace.
    I am installing a natural gas 80% furnace and duct work.
    Question: I was considering installing the makeup air vent (Skuttle's Model 216-6 (6") damper control and exterior intake vent.)
    If I decide to install the return air vent, do I hook it into the return air supply on the furnace?
    I read where some people simply installed the vent into the wall and just left it unhooked to anything to draw air into the basement.
    Is the proper way to bring in makeup air to the heating system, to simply hook it to the return air supply?

  2. Actually, not a bad question. Is there an option to allow the venting not be directly connected to the cold air return? There is one on the seven year old house I just bought, and noticed a lot of condensation where the venting meets the cold air return.

  3. From the reading, I assume a Makeuip Air Vent brings fresh air in to the burning chamber, but you never defined what is a Makeup Air vent.

  4. My $1100 hot water heater install swelled to over $3,000 when a " fan in a can " was required to bring in make up air into my drafty 1935 era home. The reason? Despite having replaced oil with gas on one furnace in our two family, I still had one oil furnace left which then requiring this intrusive unit. The good news is that oil will soon be passe as I've contracted to replace this aged beast.

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