Predicting Backdrafting and Spillage for Natural-Draft Gas Combustion Appliances: Validating VENT-II

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VENT-II is a computer program designed to provide detailed analysis of natural draft and induced draft combustion appliance vent-systems (i.e., furnace or water heater). This program is capable of predicting house depressurization thresholds that lead to backdrafting and spillage of combustion appliances; however, validation reports of the program being applied for this purpose are not readily available. The purpose of this report is to assess VENT-II’s ability to predict combustion gas spillage events due to house depressurization by comparing VENT-II simulated results with experimental data for four appliance configurations.

The results show that VENT-II correctly predicts depressurizations resulting in spillage for natural draft appliances operating in cold and mild outdoor conditions, but not for hot conditions. In the latter case, the predicted depressurizations depend on whether the vent section is defined as part of the vent connector or the common vent when setting up the model. Overall, the VENTII solver requires further investigation before it can be used reliably to predict spillage caused by depressurization over a full year of weather conditions, especially where hot conditions occur.

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