Surprised by the rapid change in temperature, homeowners have been caught off guard and unprepared for the cold temps dropped on us. Like a speeding bullet, the 80 degree temps turned into a 30 degree freeze out – well at least it feels that way. The quick changeover from AC to Heat left very little time for heating maintenance to occur (especially for those who have them regularly serviced); therefore, we, as many other service providers, have been overwhelmed with No Heat calls.
One of our main concerns during this season is the safe operation of gas heat. While gas serves as a great warm, satisfying source of heat, it poses some dangers if not carefully maintained. As gas burns it produces carbon monoxide which is often known as a “silent killer” as it has no smell nor other identifiers of its presence. Gas furnaces utilize a metal heat exchanger or chamber in which the flame burns, heats the metal then circulates air from the house over the hot heat exchanger to warm the space. Due to age and/or poor functionality, these heat exchangers rust out or crack allowing carbon monoxide to enter the living space unbeknownst to the indweller (you and I). The exposure to such gases causes headaches, nausea and ultimately can lead to death, thus being alerted to its presence is vital to your safety. There are 2 steps we recommend every homeowner to take in an effort to ensure they enjoy a safe warm gas heating season.
- Be sure to have Carbon Monoxide detectors installed – I recommend 1 per bedroom and 1 centrally located in the house. These detectors, like smoke detectors, alert you to unsafe levels of Carbon Monoxide in the house providing plenty of time to make the area safe.
- Have a heating maintenance performed each year prior to starting the unit or if you have already started the system, have it checked asap. A maintenance should include the inspection of the heat exchanger, proper burner operation, and healthy functionality of the entire system.
Gas heat provides a very warm, comfortable living area; however, ignoring its potential dangers can be hazardous to you and your families health. Take the necessary steps today by purchasing or checking your current Carbon Monoxide Detectors and calling your local Heating & Air service provider. We, at Teds, would be overjoyed to serve you in this manner! Hope you have a safe heating season!