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Old 11-05-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
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Okay to block a furnace vent?

We have a 24 foot trailer (21-22 foot box). It has 3 furnace vents... one in the back (closest to the furnace) at the base of the table/rear bed, one in the middle of the trailer in the bathroom, and one at the base of the bed at the front of the trailer.

We put our daughter in the rear bed (she's 10 months and I've got it set up with a gate so she can't roll off.

The issue we're having in the colder temps is that the rear of the trailer doesn't get nearly as warm as the front. So we burn up in the front bed in order to keep my daughters bed (area) warm enough.

I'm wondering if it's safe - for both us and for the furnace system itself - to block off the vent at the base of the our bed (in the front of the trailer) with a piece of cardboard or refectix or whatever (suggestions would be great) in the hopes of balancing out the heat distribution in the trailer?

(this is for boondocking so no hookups... so no electric space heaters. and i'd like to avoid a propane space heater as well if at all possible)

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byproxy View Post
We have a 24 foot trailer (21-22 foot box). It has 3 furnace vents... one in the back (closest to the furnace) at the base of the table/rear bed, one in the middle of the trailer in the bathroom, and one at the base of the bed at the front of the trailer.

We put our daughter in the rear bed (she's 10 months and I've got it set up with a gate so she can't roll off.

The issue we're having in the colder temps is that the rear of the trailer doesn't get nearly as warm as the front. So we burn up in the front bed in order to keep my daughters bed (area) warm enough.

I'm wondering if it's safe - for both us and for the furnace system itself - to block off the vent at the base of the our bed (in the front of the trailer) with a piece of cardboard or refectix or whatever (suggestions would be great) in the hopes of balancing out the heat distribution in the trailer?

(this is for boondocking so no hookups... so no electric space heaters. and i'd like to avoid a propane space heater as well if at all possible)

Thanks for the info!
yes it is safe and causes no problems at all.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:11 PM   #3
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Furnace COULD overheat due to lack of sufficient air flow.......and if it does the High Temp Limit Switch will open causing furnace to safely shutdown


Instead of blocking it off completely replace the cheap floor register with one that can be adjusted (Home Depot, Lowes etc)
Then you can regulate the airflow at that register and try to strike a balance


3 registers is going to be 'minimum' so it will take some experimenting with airflow



Check the furnace discharge plenum for unused duct openings that could be used to add another duct so the forward duct could be closed
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:15 PM   #4
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Maybe change the hose location on the heater. Swap the bed room hose with the one for the rear. See if that makes a difference. The heater is a box with a squirrel cage blower and it pushes more air one way over another.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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Seems strange that the vent nearest the furnace (table) produces less heat or is a colder zone than the vent further away (front bed).


Is the duct near the table somehow constricted or pinched closed by something?



If the front vent blows more heat than the table vent, swap the duct connections on the furnace. If there is still low flow to the table, the duct is probably collapsed somewhere.



If the return air to the furnace is taken from the front of the trailer, reroute the return air duct to nearer to the table. In my little class C, the furnace is inside one of the table benches, and the return air enters the bench through a large vent at the end of the bench. If yours is ducted from elsewhere, it may be possible to do the same.



Sometimes, not all duct connections on a furnace are used. My furnace only uses 3 of the available 5. Plumb an additional duct where you need it.


These solutions do not constrain the output of the furnace.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:35 PM   #6
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Blocking a vent will definitely cause issues, your furnace needs to displace the heat it creates, blocking 1/3 of the air flow will likely cause the furnace to trip the high limit switch and cycle on and off constantly. Or worse case it could cause the furnace to overheat and cause a fire.

I would recommend using an electric space heater to augment in the rear of the coach.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:11 PM   #7
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You can look in the installation documentation for your furnace and find the minimum open duct area requirement. It is usually specified in square inches.

On a typical 30K BTU furnace it will likely be around 36 square inches of open duct minimum. A 4" duct provides about 12 square inches of opening (remember pie are square from high school that you thought you'd never need to know in the real world?).

That means that blocking any duct opening, if you only have 3, would drop your free area opening to less than 36 square inches possibly resulting in furnace over heating. If you added a couple of more ducts you would then be able close one off. Remember, most RV manufacturers only install the minimum requirements.

Your furnace may be different so you really need to refer to your manual or provide specific information for your furnace model and BTU rating so we can help. I wouldn't block anything off until I found the needed information.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:19 PM   #8
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Do NOT block any vent. Check for crushed, poorly installed, leaking ducts to the cold areas. Look under drawers, cabinets, or any access ports to check routing.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:49 PM   #9
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First i would make sure the run to the bedroom is not compromised. IF not I agree get adjustable vents and try that.

Good luck
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:08 PM   #10
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For 3+ years we have completely blocked a vent right next to the bed, otherwise with even minimal heat on overnight the bedroom is stifling. So far we've not experienced any of the potential problems described, but now y'all are making me nervous
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:15 PM   #11
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For 3+ years we have completely blocked a vent right next to the bed, otherwise with even minimal heat on overnight the bedroom is stifling. So far we've not experienced any of the potential problems described, but now y'all are making me nervous

WHY>>>>you haven't had any issues doing this for 3+ years.


Furnace has built in safety features.
One being the High Temp Limit Switch
IF airflow is not adequate to remove heat from heat exchanger the High Temp will Open which shuts down DC to circuit Bd .
No harm/No foul.
And that hasn't happened or you would be wondering why furnace stopped before t-stat set point was met and why fan continued to run. Then when heat exchanger cooled down/High Temp Closed....furnace fired right back up
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:57 AM   #12
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Warm air stratifies up near the ceiling. Place a small fan so that it mixes the cold & warm air on its way to the bedroom. Absolutely amazing what a simple air current can make in comfort levels!
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