During the Summer month’s there’s a tendency to forget the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). As you transition to the cooling season, be sure to keep your awareness for CO high even though it’s likely to be the last thing on your mind. Let’s look at five summer CO issues you should be aware.
Issue #1: Water Heaters
Water heating is needed all year- and should always be at the top of your watch list if the equipment is fuel-fired. If you keep an eye on CO-related news, you’ll notice many issues are caused by water heating equipment. Don’t restrict this to domestic water heating only. Look at other equipment such as pool heaters too.
Last summer there was a news story about a teenager who lost his life due to an unsafe pool heater in a hotel. Seven others were already unconscious and could have succumbed to the poison if not for the actions of a quick-thinking staff member.
You can help prevent this type of tragedy if you pay attention to a few details. At the minimum, look for some of the visual clues of flue gas spillage. If you see signs of rust, metal discoloration, and melted grommets around the drafthood or burners, it’s an indicator that flue gas is probably spilling from the equipment. If you uncover these, the equipment needs to be tested for safe operation.
Issue #2: Gas Ovens
CO Poisoning doesn’t just happen in winter. Summer CO issues are just as rampant, just as deadly, and just as preventable.
Gas ovens are another appliance used year-round. Never underestimate their potential to dump CO directly into the living space. Don’t assume a gas oven is safe until it has been tested and verified. I’ve seen brand new ovens producing over 1600 ppm of CO.
An oven shouldn’t put out more than 50 ppm of CO (As Measured) while in operation and should include some form of ventilation when in use. The natural air changes in most newer homes isn’t enough to dilute CO produced from an oven. This is especially important to remember if you’re cooking a large meal.
Issue #3: Outdoor Grilles
With warmer temperatures, many of us move our cooking outdoors to enjoy the flavor from a grille. Both charcoal and gas grilles used too close to a window or overhang present a significant danger for CO poisoning.
Fumes from the grille can easily make their way back into a building through open windows, doors, or recirculation through an overhang. Grilles always produce high levels of CO and should be used as far away from a building as possible.
If it’s raining, it might be best to plan your grilling activities for another day instead of using the grille under a covered porch or in an open garage. There have been numerous poisonings reported when grilles are used in these conditions.
Issue #4: Attached Garages
A home with an attached garage can also present a potential for CO even if there aren’t any fuel-fired appliances. Don’t forget about fumes from automobiles and lawn equipment that can easily infiltrate indoors when conditions are right.
One of the largest contributing factors from attached garages is tied to duct leakage and air balancing problems. When these issues exist, they create a competition for airflow. With the blower in the HVAC system often running at higher speeds during cooling mode, this is amplified during the summer.
Since airflow takes the path of least resistance, it often moves through unintentional connections between a garage and the home with CO tagging along for the ride. HVAC professionals are in the perfect position to address this since it’s a ventilation and duct system issue.
Issue #5: Generators
Warmer weather brings storms and power outages. To cope with this inconvenience, many consumers fire up their generators to provide some relief. When generators are used too close to a home, the fumes can find their way inside through openings such as windows, doors, and outside air ducts.
Customers with good intentions or concerns of theft have moved generators indoors not considering the side effects of this decision. If your customers use a generator, have them operate it as far away from the home as possible since this equipment always produce high levels of CO.
Low-Level CO Monitors
One way to help prevent these issues is to keep a low-level CO monitor in operation all year. This will alert you and your customers to the potential of CO poisoning before anyone is in harm’s way. Consider it to be a home security system for CO that can go off as soon as that CO intruder steps on your property.
Summer will hit us like a Fire Ball and our AC system will feel the shock. There are a few things you can do so you won’t be without the Air Conditioning you want.
Your Furnace or Heat Pump has been working hard and running a lot we didn’t have Spring this year it’s been cold so your air filter is most likely very dirty even if you think you just changed it time fly’s so change it anyway its the number one cause for your Central Air Conditioning unit to:
#1 run all day to get the house cool.
#2 double your electric bill.
#3 over work the air conditioners compressor and burn it up a very expensive repair.
#4 cause stress for your family most AC companies are so busy during the first hot days of Summer they may take a couple of days to get there. It’s inexpensive to do and will save your first few hot days of Summer.
When it gets hot and humid we want to save money on the electric bill it can be expensive but we will pay to be comfortable you think by turning the AC Thermostat off while your at work and then turning it on only when your in the house your saving money.
Actually, now it has to work twice as hard to get the house cool and most importantly can cause it to break, let it run while away install a Programmable Thermostat or set your Thermostat at 76 to 78 degrees while not home it won’t run much but will keep the heat and humidity out of the air, the furniture, the walls, the floors, and everything in your house it all has to be re cooled when you get home.
Think of your house like a cooler in the sun if you fill the cooler with ice and soda cans and let it sit in the sun all day when you get home you have water and hot sodas it will take a whole bag of ice in the cooler and a long time before you get a cold soda – instead add a few cubes all day long and when you get home from work you reach in the cooler and the soda is still cold sounds silly but it works.
Consider calling and getting scheduled for a summer tune up or Service Plan we will Changer the Air Filter check the Freon or Environment friendly 410A Refrigerant in your AC Unit plus up to 20 other items on our checklist. Most likely a tune up now will prevent your AC from breaking down we want you to be cool and happy it makes us look and feel good. Call today that’s what we are here for we thrive on long relationships and getting to know our customers needs.