Hubert Lawrence | Bolt and one last 200m

first_img ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS On my additional list of Bolt-Please-Run-The-200-This-Year questions were, ‘Didn’t the rain slow him down to 19.78 seconds at the Rio Olympics’ and ‘Weren’t we all dreaming of sub-19 just the year before?’ Pressed for answers from my host, a keen sports fan, I kept on eating. Bolt is clearly taking a minimalist approach to this sayonara season. When Carl Lewis was in his swansong, he ran mostly relays around the world. Michael Johnson did the same. Both wanted to meet their fans who cheered them on during their accomplished careers. Bolt is doing things differently. While those gentlemen could ease off the accelerator in training, the tall man is intent on defending his World Championship crown in the 100 metres. As defending champion in both sprints, he has the assurance of the oddly named wild card and could run the 200m if he changes his mind. To check the box of running at home, he will step forward in the Racers Grand Prix. Later, it seems that he is expected to run 300 metres in the Czech Republic city of Ostrava where he always receives a hero’s welcome. Don’t bet on him competing here, there and everywhere. I was gobbling merrily away at an Easter Monday cookout when the question came. Why isn’t Usain Bolt running the 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships in London? Having fed me, my host wasn’t far from demanding a good answer. I didn’t have one. I’d long resolved to enjoy whatever the incomparable one chose to do in this, his final year of competition. That resolve only came after I had laid to rest my own wish for Bolt to give his considerable all to the 200m in this farewell season. My culinary interrogator asked me the questions I’ve stopped asking myself. Isn’t he better at 200m? The Bolt Olympic/World Championship 100/200m gold medal count answers seven in the 200m, and six in the 100m. Isn’t it his favourite event the 200m? Yes. Is his inconsistent start more a liability in the short event? Yes. GIBSON FOLKLORE It would have been great if he had run at the Gibson-McCook Relays, where he once helped the Racers to a 4×100 metres record. In 2010, he entered Gibson folklore with a 44.2 second 4×400 metre anchor leg. The fans would have loved it. They’ll love him at the Racers meet and anywhere he goes this season and not just because he will soon run no more. He’s that rare blend between athletic prowess and personality. Those attributes have made him an asset to the sport of athletics since his emergence as a superstar in 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games. How was the Easter meal? Like Bolt’s career, it was so good that most people would answer with the famous Oliver Twist quote, ‘Please sir, I want some more.’ – Hubert Lawrence went to that Easter Barbeque after TV broadcasts of the Carifta Games were finished.last_img read more

RAPHOE MAN REMANDED IN CUSTODY ON SPATE OF CHARGES

first_imgJohnny Ayton. (North West Newspix)A Raphoe man has been remanded in custody after he appeared on a series of charges including trespassing, stealing a car and dangerous driving.Jonathan Ayton appeared at a siting of Sligo District Court today in connection with the incidents in Killybegs yesterday.Ayton, 39, of The Close, Raphoe, faced a number of charges. They include entering the home of Sean Rodgers at Fintra Road, Killybegs yesterday as a trespasser to commit a theft.He was also charged with stealing a car belonging to Ann Rodgers of the same address.Two other charges of dangerous driving at Inver and Meenbog, Ballybofey were also brought against Ayton.The court was told he made no reply to the charges.Solicitor Walker Hegarty said his client did not wish to make an application for bail and he was remanded in custody to appear before Harristown Court on April 22nd next.RAPHOE MAN REMANDED IN CUSTODY ON SPATE OF CHARGES was last modified: April 14th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegalJonathan AytonRaphoelast_img read more

Man pleads guilty to burglary and dangerous driving

first_imgA Raphoe man has pleaded guilty to stealing a car and dangerous driving.Jonathan Ayton appeared at a sitting of Donegal Circuit Court today in connection with the incidents in Killybegs in April last.Ayton, 39, of The Close, Raphoe, faced a number of charges. They include entering the home of Sean Rodgers at Fintra Road, Killybegs as a trespasser to commit a theft.He was also charged with stealing a car belonging to Ann Rodgers of the same address.Charges of dangerous driving at Inver and Meenbog, Ballybofey were also brought against Ayton.He was remanded in custody to be sentenced in January next.Man pleads guilty to burglary and dangerous driving was last modified: October 25th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GAA NEWS: SCHOOLS GAA NOTES

first_imgAffiliation Forms:As a new school year begins, teachers are kindly asked to check their emails and to forward on any affiliation forms along with relevant monies to the county secretary as soon as possible as the calendar of events is due to commence shortly. Any schools who havent affiliated before and would like to participate this year are asked to email cumanndl@hotmail.com.  Congratulations:Best wishes to Jim, Rory and the squad as they look forward to the All-Ireland final on September 23rd v Mayo from all involved in Cumann na mBunscol. Website: Teachers and pupils can view our new website by visiting cumanndonegal.com. The website has weekly updated notes and other relevant information regarding the playing of GAA games within our primary schools. GAA NEWS: SCHOOLS GAA NOTES was last modified: September 4th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

TRIAL TO HEAR HOW TRAGIC DONEGAL MAN WAS KICKED AND PUNCHED TO DEATH YARDS FROM HOUSE

first_imgA trial into the death of a Donegal man is to hear how he was repeatedly kicked, punched and stamped upon just yards from the safety of his home.William McKeeney, 57, who was originally from Malin Head, was set upon on the street in Glasgow as he was walking home.Two young men yesterday went on trial charged with the racially aggravated murder of the tragic Donegal man. Asif Rehman, 20, and Adel Ishaq, 19, are accused of attacking William and causing him to fall to the ground before viciously attacking him.Mr McKeeney was so severely injured after the alleged incident yards from his home in Melville Street, Pollockshields, Glasgow, on January 15 that he later died at the city’s Victoria Infirmary.Rehman and Ishaq, prisoners at Polmont Young Offenders Institution, deny the racially aggravated murder of Mr McKeeney and showing previous malice and ill-will towards him.Ishaq denies attempting to give clothing and footwear to Umar Bhatti, who burned and destroyed them, and attempting to induce Bashir Ahmed to give him £500 so he could flee Glasgow.Rehman also denies changing out of the clothes he was was wearing at the time before returning to the scene, and possessing cannabis and diazepam.Ishaq further denies acting in a manner likely to cause fear and alarm by using abusive and threatening language towards Ian Little in Kenmuir Street, Pollockshields, on the day before the alleged attack. He also denies possessing diazepam.Mr McKeeney, a labourer and former lorry driver, was well-known on the Inishowen Peninsula.The trial continues in the High Court at Kilmarnock and is expected to last two weeks.TRIAL TO HEAR HOW TRAGIC DONEGAL MAN WAS KICKED AND PUNCHED TO DEATH YARDS FROM HOUSE was last modified: October 4th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GlasgowMalin Headmurdertrialwilliam mckeeneylast_img read more

Wednesday’s round-up: Sessegnon commits to Fulham

first_imgRyan Sessegnon has committed his future to Fulham by signing a three-year contract.The Roehampton-born 17-year-old’s new deal – his first professional contract – comes after months of speculation that he could leave Craven Cottage this summer.He was linked with several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, but opted to stay with the Whites.“I’m excited to see what’s in front of me at this club. Hopefully we can all push on now,” he told Fulham’s website.Sessegnon, who can play at left-back or further forward, has been at Fulham since 2008, as has his twin brother Steven.He made his senior debut in August last year and has made a total of 30 first-team appearances, scoring seven goals.Fulham’s vice-chairman and director of football operations Tony Khan said: “Ryan’s debut season with the first team was spectacular and we are so proud of this very special young man.” Parker announces retirementScott Parker has decided to end his playing career.The 36-year-old, whose Fulham contract expires at the end of this week, announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon.Parker, who spent four years at Craven Cottage, captained England during a 19-year career that included an 18-month spell at Chelsea.He also played for Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham and Charlton.A statement issued by Parker explained: “The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.” Gladwin leaves QPRBen Gladwin has completed his move from QPR to Blackburn for an undisclosed fee.West London Sport recently revealed that Blackburn wanted to sign the midfielder and subsequently also revealed that the move was set to go through.Gladwin, 25, has signed a two-year contract at Ewood Park. Doughty likely to go as wellEmbed from Getty ImagesQPR are ready to let Michael Doughty leave for Peterborough.West London Sport revealed in May that Posh are hoping to sign the midfielder, who has a year remaining on his contract at Loftus Road.Following talks between the two clubs, Rangers have told the League One outfit they can sign Doughty if they are able to agree personal terms with him.Rangers boss Ian Holloway recalled Doughty from a season-long loan at Swindon Town in January, insisting he rated the 24-year-old highly and wanted to give him a chance in the first team.However, Doughty started just two matches under Holloway – and has made just 12 first-team appearances for Rangers in total, nine of them as a substitute. No enquiries about SmithiesQPR have so far received no enquiries about Alex Smithies despite speculation over the goalkeeper’s future.Smithies, who signed a new contract in February, was outstanding for the R’s last season.His former club Huddersfield’s recent promotion to the Premier League prompted reports that he could rejoin them this summer.He was previously linked with a number of other clubs, but there has so far been no sign of any interest in the 27-year-old. Mackrell to face Hillsborough chargeEmbed from Getty ImagesA former QPR employee is among six people who will be prosecuted over the Hillsborough disaster.Graham Mackrell will be accused of breaching Health and Safety and Safety at Sports Ground legislation in relation to the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in May 1989.Mackrell was Wednesday’s club secretary and safety officer at the time.He was given the role of chief operating officer at QPR by the then club chairman Gianni Paladini in August 2006, but left just three months later.Last year, new inquests into the disaster at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi-final concluded the 96 fans who died had been unlawfully killed. Kerschbaumer loan moveEmbed from Getty ImagesBrentford midfielder Konstantin Kerschbaumer has joined German second-tier side DSC Arminia Bielefelda on a season-long loan.Kerschbaumer, who turns 25 this week, moved to Griffin Park from FC Admira Wacker Mödling for an undisclosed fee two years ago.The Bees have inserted a clause in his contract, which expires in 2019, giving the club the option of extending it to 2020.A similar deal led to Brentford recently extending Jota’s contract by a year. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

British Royals touch down in SA

first_img3 November 2011The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Rosemary, arrived in South Africa on Wednesday afternoon for a four-day visit at the personal invitation of President Jacob Zuma.The Prince was greeted by a military guard of honour – and a stunning amber sunset – as he touched down under blue skies at Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria on Wednesday.His Royal Highness was met on arrival by British High Commissioner in South Africa Nicola Brewer, who introduced him to South African Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and South Africa’s Chief of State Protocol Vusi Bruce KolwaneThe Duchess arrived separately in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning. Together, the royal couple will attend engagements in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Kwazulu-Natal and Cape Town before leaving after a church service on Sunday.The royal tour will go to townships, community programmes, a nature reserve and sustainability projects, giving special attention to sustainability issues in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Durban from 28 November.It will also focus on the issues of trade and investment, jobs and development, education and disadvantaged youth, and shared heritage and conservation of traditional livelihoods and wildlife, particularly the work of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Prince Charles recently became president of WWF UK.The Prince will not be meeting President Jacob Zuma, who is attending the G20 Summit in Cannes, France.The Prince of Wales visited South Africa in 1997 when he introduced his son, Prince Harry, to southern Africa. His last official visit to Tanzania was in 1984.This is the Duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit to southern Africa, though she has visited privately. She has never visited Tanzania.SAinfo reporter BuaNewslast_img read more

SA to US travellers: What’s Your BIG 5?

first_img16 April 2013 South African Tourism North America will unveil its ground-breaking new advertising campaign, “What’s Your BIG 5?” on NBC’s hit series “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on Sunday 21 April. A year in the making, the multi-faceted “What’s Your BIG 5?” campaign aims to increase awareness and travel to South Africa by taking prospective travellers through the spectrum of distinct experiences offered by South Africa – including but not limited to the iconic safari. “Sunday’s episode will bring to life the vibrant culture of South Africa to an astounding six-million viewers,” South African Tourism said in a statement on Monday. “South Africa has become a highly sought-after travel destination, breaking tourism records with double-digit growth in the past three years,” said Sthu Zungu, president of South African Tourism North America. “High-profile partnerships like All-Star Celebrity Apprentice are one of the many driving forces catapulting our destination into mainstream consciousness, fuelling conversations and travel to South Africa like never before.” “South Africa is an amazing destination,” said Donald Trump, executive producer and star of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. “This Sunday’s episode will highlight the magnificence of the country, and I will be going to South Africa soon – it’s one of my favorite places.” “The Big Five” refers to the best-known of Africa’s famous safari animals, namely the elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. “With this campaign, South African Tourism aims to re-define “BIG 5″ to underscore the broad range of authentic and distinct experiences South Africa has to offer travellers of all ages,” South African Tourism said. The campaign launches on Sunday with a “360-degree platform” including advertising, year-round public relations, trade marketing, and consumer-driven events throughout the year. After Sunday’s airing, at 11pm EST, viewers will be able to catch a bonus video of one of the Celebrity Apprentic All-Stars living the episode’s electrifying task first-hand in South Africa on www.southafrica.net. Viewers will also be able to learn more about South Africa’s culture, diversity and friendly people on the website, while booking their own “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice & What’s Your BIG 5?” travel package. “Additionally, one lucky viewer participating in the show’s launch of What’s Your BIG 5? campaign via Visit South Africa on Facebook or @SouthAfrica on Twitter, will win a trip to New York City on May 19th and two VIP tickets for the live finale taping,” South African Tourism announced. “The winner and a guest will also be invited to rub elbows with Mr Trump and the All-Star cast and crew at the exclusive finale after-party. Sweepstakes start on April 21st and end on April 29th; visit www.facebook.com/VisitSouthAfrica for more details.” For more information, visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter or like Visit South Africa on Facebook. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Prices could make significant moves following today’s report

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After the March 31 Planting Intentions report and Grain Stocks Report are published today the markets could be making significant price moves. Grain producers don’t want to see grain prices drift even more to the downside, away from highs seen in January and February. Following the March 9 monthly USDA Supply and Demand Report, corn and soybeans moved out of their sideways pattern as they reached levels not seen for several months. From March 9 to March 24, corn prices dropped 11 cents, soybeans fell 35 cents, while wheat was down 19 cents.Following the March 9 Supply and Demand Report, the market seemed to be in a void of news headlines that changed, bringing fresh news to the forefront. In the weeks following that report markets seemed to focus almost exclusively on grain supply and production. Demand mattered very little. Weekly grain export loadings and export sales with numbers above the high end of trade expectations provided zero price bounces higher as the numbers were quickly dismissed. Daily, record soybean yields and production in Brazil were on the minds of traders. It is no wonder that last month that USDA raised Brazil’s soybean production to 108 million tons, up 4 million tons from February. Additional increases will likely take place in coming months. It was also no surprise that Brazil’s corn production was increased 5 million tons to 91.5 million tons. It will be important to watch U.S. corn and soybean exports in coming months to see if USDA reduces them due to increasing exports from Brazil.Brazil continues to capture attention when it comes to talk of world grain production. For weeks, reports of fantastic soybean yields continue to be reported. Gone were the long lines of boats which in past years reached wait times of 60 days to queue up for loading. Also, gone was the shifting of boats to be loaded from the U.S. Gulf when Brazil was unable to meet their loading commitments in a timely fashion. That missing shift also meant soybean prices were not rallying due to Brazil’s ability to load boats on a consistent basis. Br-163 in Brazil has often been called the “soybean highway,” as it moves soybeans from the largest producing state, Mato Grosso. This heavily traveled road can often become clogged with thousands of soybean trucks headed north. The trip from farm to port and back will not permit several loads a day. Pack more than just your lunch. Bring your sleeping bag, and be ready to drive for many, many hours — a staggering length of 1,211 miles stretching from Rondonopolis in southern Mato Grosso to shipping ports in Santarem to the north on the Amazon River. That distance is comparable to driving from central Ohio to Denver. When Br-163 in Brazil experienced days of delays due to muddy conditions and thousands of trucks waiting their turn to get through the muddy mess, there was zero response by the markets. Why? Ports in southern Brazil loaded soybeans without a hiccup to the overall Brazil shipping schedule.The market will heavily focus on the March 31 Planting Intentions Report into April and beyond. U.S. corn acres will be down from last year as producers plant near 90 million acres. With U.S. corn yields above trend line levels the past three years, stocks are at record levels. Bottom line, for corn to rally, the U.S. corn yield needs some kind of weather event for the yield to fall below 165 bushels per acre. Such a yield would put corn ending stocks below 1.7 billion bushels. Last year, the U.S. corn yield was 174.6 bushels per acre. Currently 2016-17 US corn ending stocks are 2.32 billion bushels.The question looming large for soybean prices is this: how many acres are planted in the U.S. this spring? It will be record large and near 88.5 million acres or more. If acres exceed that number and summer weather lacks hot and dry conditions, soybean prices could fall below $8 by fall. In addition, U.S. soybean exports could decline an additional 25 million bushels or more in coming months due to increasing exports from Brazil.last_img read more

Can Atmospheric Combustion Work in a Spray-Foam-Insulated Attic?

first_imgLet’s say you bring the attic inside the building enclosure by putting spray foam insulation at the roofline (the case with the two furnaces in my previous article on this topic). Now, let’s put some numbers to it. (Yes, we’re going to do math, but it’s just simple arithmetic. I know some of you were hoping for partial differential equations, but you’ll just have to console yourself today by memorizing some more digits of Pi, I guess.)If the attic has a floor area of 800 square feet and an average height of 4 feet, for example, the volume would be 3,200 cubic feet. Divide that number by 50 to find the maximum capacity appliance you could put in the attic, and you get 64,000 BTU/hr.That would be a medium-sized furnace. But you could put only one in this attic. Put two of them up there, and the codes say you don’t have enough air for them. And an 80,000 BTU/hr or 100,000 BTU/hr furnace, neither of which is uncommon in homes, would be right out.One way to get more volume of indoor air for your atmospheric combustion appliances would be to connect the space they’re in to other spaces in the home. You could put a couple of grilles in the wall separating a mechanical room from the conditioned space, for example. The codes specify how you should do that and how big the openings have to be.Another way to get more air is to count infiltration. Again, check the codes if you’re planning to do that. Another method specified in the code is to use a single opening. The image at left shows a basement mechanical room attempting to satisfy the code requirement this way.With both the high-low vents and single opening methods, the building codes specify the amount of vent area required. As with calculating volume when you use indoor air, the vent area required is based on the total capacity of the combustion appliances.Here are the rules for the two-permanent-openings method:1 square inch per 4,000 BTU/hr  –  vertical ducts1 square inch per 2,000 BTU/hr  –  horizontal ductsWhen using the one-permanent-opening method, you need:1 square inch per 3,000 BTU/hr  –  vertical or horizontal ductHow many code violations do you see?Now go back and look at the two photos I opened the article with (at the top of the page). Both use the one-permanent-opening method and would require 1 square inch for each 3,000 BTU/hr of capacity. The first one is a 4-inch-diameter duct, so the area would be about 12.6 square inches. Code would allow it for a maximum capacity of about 37,700 BTU/hr. In other words, it’s probably too small because there aren’t many furnaces that small.There’s still the issue of the tape covering the louvers, of course. And there’s another code violation as well. Combustion air vents are supposed to have a minimum clearance of 6 inches from the front of the combustion appliance.The furnace in the second photo comes closer to meeting code. If it’s a 6-inch duct, it would have an area of 28 square inches and meet the requirement for an 84,800 BTU/hr furnace. If it’s an 8-inch duct, it could meet the requirement for about 150,000 BTU/hr in total capacity. It still doesn’t meet the 6-inch clearance requirement, though.But will it work?Whether any of the methods above will work is debatable and depends on what criteria you use to gauge acceptability. Here are a few pitfalls:Using indoor air still means using outdoor air. Each cubic foot (or cubic meter) of indoor air that gets pulled into a combustion appliance will leave the house with the exhaust gases. When that happens, another cubic foot gets pulled in from leaks through the building enclosure.Air doesn’t always follow the arrows we draw on diagrams. You can put all the vents you want into a mechanical room, but whether air moves in the direction we’d like it to depends on the which way the pressure difference pushes it. Wind, stack effect, and other mechanical systems could cause air to flow the “wrong way.”Bringing combustion air in from outdoors can waste energy and lead to comfort problems. We know the old saw about how “a house needs to breathe” is a myth. Houses need to be able to dry out and they need good indoor air quality. They don’t need extra leaks. It’s the people who need to breathe.Occupants sometimes seal them up because they don’t understand why there’s a hole in their house. It happens, just like they sometimes caulk the weep holes in a brick wall.As I’ve said before, it’s time to put atmospheric combustion appliances on the pile of obsolete technologies. Let them take their rightful place as relics of a bygone era, along with steam engines, typewriters, and slide rules. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Some older homes, though, have a type of furnace that isn’t made anymore: the natural draft furnace. The photo at left shows what they look like. Notice that there are two places where this furnace pulls in air, and these guys pull in a lot of air. They’re also easier to backdraft, but that’s not our focus here.Where does the air come from?So if you’ve got any type of atmospheric combustion appliance, you need to make sure it gets air for combustion. The two options are:Indoor airOutdoor airLet’s take a look at them separately.Using indoor air for combustionIf you’re going to use indoor air, there’s got to be enough of it inside the house. Two building codes that address this issue are the National Fire Protection Association Standard 54 (NFPA-54) and the International Residential Code (IRC).Both say the same thing about using indoor air for combustion. The space that the atmospheric combustion air can draw from has to have at least 50 cubic feet of volume for each 1,000 BTU/hour of appliance capacity. Using outdoor air for combustionThe other way to provide air for your combustion appliances is to bring it in from outdoors. The standard way to do this is with “high-low vents.” The image at left shows an example. Two ducts are open to this mechanical room in a basement. One of them terminates near the ceiling, the other near the floor.[Image credit: International Code Council]The image at left and the image below are from the 2012 IRC and show two ways to do the high-low vents with vertical ducts. It’s OK for the ducts to pull combustion air from the crawl space or attic as long as those spaces communicate directly with the outdoors. In the first diagram, the low vent is connected to the vented crawl space, and the high vent is connected to the attic.[Image credit: International Code Council]In the diagram at left, both vents are shown connected to the attic. That’s why the furnace in the image at left has louvers in the cover. It allows air from the surrounding space to be pulled in for combustion. This is what we call the standard efficiency furnace. If you buy a new furnace these days and want to get the cheapest one you can, this is probably what it’ll look like. A while back I wrote about the incompatibility of putting an atmospheric combustion furnace in a sealed attic. Most often the attic is sealed by installing spray foam insulation at the roofline, thus bringing the attic inside the building enclosure and turning it into conditioned space (directly or indirectly). The good news is that some installers understand this problem and seek to address it. The bad news is what a few of them do.Combustion air retrofitsThe photo at right is a case in point. The furnace was up in the attic before the spray foam was installed. The homeowner hired a spray foam contractor to improve the building enclosure but the budget didn’t include enough money to change out the furnace at the same time.I don’t know if the combustion air retrofit you see above was done by the spray foam installer or the HVAC contractor, but in either case, this one’s almost certainly not going to work. Here are the main problems:Inadequate duct size. They used a 4-inch flex duct that you usually see on bath fans (which have their own problems), and it ran at least 20 feet to the place where it exited the attic. This would not meet the code requirement for combustion air inlets, as you’ll see below.Poor duct installation. The duct wasn’t pulled tight, further reducing the air flow through the duct.Tape over furnace louvers. The louver area is designed to allow the proper amount of combustion air to enter the furnace. By covering some of them with tape, the installer of this retrofit may be guaranteeing the opposite of what they were aiming for: less combustion air, not more.[Photo credit: Nikki Krueger]The image at left shows a better installation. The duct looks like it’s 6 inches or 8 inches in diameter, and it’s made of rigid metal. Both of those things will allow more air to move through.And that air might even move toward the furnace instead of away from it. Of course, there’s no guarantee of that. As my friend David Richardson likes to say, combustion air doesn’t care which way we show the arrows pointing on our diagram. Air flows from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure. Under some circumstances, air might flow out through that inlet rather than in.The need for airNow let’s go a little further. Let’s look at what building codes say is the right way to do it. The image at left shows the burners in a particular type of furnace. When you pull the cover off of this furnace, you could stick your fingers right there in the flames. (I said you could do it. I certainly don’t recommend it, though.)What that means is that the flames are open to the air inside the furnace cabinet. Since we know combustion is the chemical reaction of a fuel (natural gas in this case) with oxygen, there’s got to be a supply of air to keep it going. The air in the furnace cabinet itself would be exhausted quickly, so more air has got to come in somewhere, right?last_img read more