Your HVAC and Carbon Monoxide Safety

By: Brian Schutt  |  October 17, 2018

Read on for great HVAC and carbon monoxide safety tips.

To preserve safety for your family, you do lots of things – is HVAC maintenance one of them? Our heating and air systems are easy to take for granted. As long as they operate in the background, everyone is comfortable. When they break, things can get stressful.

HVAC maintenance is important for comfort as well as safety. For example, a crack in the heat exchanger is a serious risk. Why? Two reasons. First, your furnace houses fuel combustion, and a crack in the heat exchanger puts you at risk for a house fire. Secondly, a crack can allow noxious fumes to escape into your air. These fumes include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, pure carbon and some nitrogen oxides.

Carbon monoxide, or CO, especially is a concern. All gas-fueled appliances produce some CO. A crack or a leak in an appliance, however, may allow a large amount to seep into the breathing air. This can cause sickness and in large quantities, death.

How Does a Crack in a Heat Exchanger Happen?

Cracks in a heat exchanger can appear over time through use. Another cause of heat exchanger cracks is extreme heat. If your furnace overheats due to short cycling or a dirty filter, a crack can emerge.

How Can HVAC Maintenance Prevent Cracks in the Heat Exchanger?

When we perform HVAC maintenance, we look for signs of a crack as well as other signs of excess wear and tear. Overuse of the system through habits or a dysfunction, like short cycling, prematurely age the HVAC unit. This leads to serious problems like cracks sooner than later.

When you schedule a tune-up with a trusted Indianapolis HVAC contractor like Homesense, a certified technician performs a comprehensive inspection. We also clean and test all applicable components.

Our team alerts you immediately to any safety risks and, as applicable, advises you on usage recommendations.

We also test communication between the thermostat and the furnace or heat pump. Sometimes short cycling or overuse is a result of faulty thermostat readings.

Carbon Monoxide Detection Outside of HVAC Maintenance

In addition to HVAC maintenance to catch cracks or other potential CO leaks, home and property owners should install carbon monoxide detectors. Make battery tests part of your routine along with smoke detectors.

Avoid installation of a CO detector right next to gas-fueled appliances because they produce a small amount of CO during operation. Generally, install CO detectors in every major area of your home and on every floor.

CO poisoning happens to spike during colder months. This is due to the higher use of heating devices and fireplaces.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2015 a total of 393 deaths from unintentional CO poisoning occurred. Thirty-six percent of the deaths happened in December, January and February.

Fire risk also increases during this time period as noted by the National Fire Protection Association. According to the NFPA, nearly half of home heating fires occurred in December, January and February (2011-2015).

Smoke detectors are placed higher, because smoke rises. CO, however, mixes with the air and should be installed lower to the ground. Some resources suggest “knee height” as that’s where our noses are while asleep.

If you’re unsure where to place CO or smoke detectors, ask your Homesense technician during a regularly scheduled tune-up where the best installation spots may be.

HVAC Maintenance in Indianapolis: Trust Homesense

If you’re a homeowner in Indianapolis or the suburbs, like Noblesville, Homesense is available for your HVAC maintenance, repair and installation needs. We also closely work with property managers and real estate investors with heating and air issues.

Have you scheduled HVAC maintenance recently? If not, call us at 317-203-8149. Our expert technicians perform comprehensive inspections during each service visit. They also identify any indications of stress.

Catching small issues early may prevent an inconvenient repair or even a costly breakdown. With regular HVAC maintenance, your heating and cooling equipment operates efficiently and safely.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained and certified to repair any brand. We care about your safety and comfort, so please call us when you need help.

Regardless of the age of your heating and cooling system, we encourage you to take advantage of our preventative HVAC maintenance agreement. It’s a great value – saving you on hassles, time and money.

Call Homesense or submit an appointment request form today.

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