Help hide these vents!
January 31, 2012 10:03 PM   Subscribe

Ugly furnace installation. Any suggestions?

I had a new furnace and water heater installed. I really don't like the way it looks on the exterior of the house. I'm looking for some suggestions to make it look... nicer?

The problems: These are the vents for the furnace. I thought they were going to use the chimney for the venting, but they went through the rim joist instead. The white pvc just looks like crap. I thought about painting them brown, or planting some shrubs in from of them.

This is the vent for the water heater. I guess paint is out of the question for this. Shingle around the round part?

There is no information in either manual on how close I can put plants to hide them.

I asked them to plug the top of the chimney, because they plugged the bottom and I didn't want a chimney full of water leaking into the basement. I was up on the roof a few days ago, this is what they did. Do you think the plug slid down, do I need more concrete or some other fix to keep the water out.
posted by Marky to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I see no reason why you can't paint both of those vent things. But you don't want to put stuff near them because that will reduce the efficiency.
posted by gjc at 3:32 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Furnace vents - Flat Krylon for PVC. No plants closer than 3 feet or so, the exhaust will burn them. In the picture, they look like they are a foot tall and eighteen inches apart. I might try screwing a piece of 1x12 lumber between them (so they look like a barbell from the top) and paint just to make people think it was a contemporary light fixture or something.

Water heater vent - Yeah, it seems like they should have treated that base plate like a roof vent and brought the shingles over it, with just the round intake collar and exhaust pipe protruding. You can knock the shiny off with brown or black high-temp woodstove paint. This would be a five-year maintenance issue.

I think I would go with a chimney cap over the top of the chimney, if for no other reason than to prevent mosquitoes breeding in standing water on top of the flue liner plug. It's for sure not going anywhere.

Aesthetics aside, it looks like they did a solid job with the installation. You should have no trouble with any of it for a long time.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:34 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would paint the PVC with brown Krylon. I would paint the water heater vent with copper or bronze metallic paint.
posted by raisingsand at 8:09 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

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