Items filtered by date: Sunday, 30 August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 10:52

Carbon Monoxide Safety

wallmounted carbon monoxide alarm picture id536878083

 

With the cooler weather right around the corner, it's important to review carbon monoxide (CO) safety tips so you are prepared this fall and winter. The CDC reports that this "silent killer" sends 20,000 people to the emergency room, hospitalizes 4,000 and kills 400 every year. CO is a colorless and odorless gas that replaces oxygen in your bloodstream leading to poisoning and a variety of symptoms, including death. CO is produced by fuel burning engines, fireplaces, gas ranges, furnaces and generators. When the gas builds up in closed spaces, it can lead to poisoning of animals and people. 

 
What to Know About CO
 
  • Anyone is at risk. However, infants, the elderly, those with breathing issues and those with anemia are at the greatest risk for severe reactions to CO.
  • Fall and winter are the prime time for CO poisonings due to use of fireplaces and furnaces.
  • Prevent poisonings with a CO detector. Test it regularly and always keep batteries fresh.
  • Have the furnace, hot water heater, fireplace and any coal or gas-burning appliances inspected before use each fall.
  • Have the chimney checked and cleaned yearly and the fireplace damper checked.
  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
  • Never run a car in the garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Never use a generator indoors or within 20 feet of your home. Doing so could allow dangerous CO to build up in your home. 
 
Symptoms of CO Poisoning 
 
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, loss of muscle coordination and death. If your family begins to experience these symptoms, whether or not your CO alarm goes off, go outside for fresh air. If the symptoms begin to subside, call 911 for help. If your CO alarm goes off, never ever ignore it. Immediately go outside with all people and pets and call 911 for help. Do not enter the home again until emergency personnel say it's safe to do so. CO poisoning is a serious and dangerous situation for people and animals. Always make sure everyone in your home is accounted for when evacuating the home. 
 
Keep these safety tips in mind throughout the fall and winter to keep you and your family and pets safe from CO. Always test and refresh your CO detector batteries. Go outside and call 911 if your alarm goes off or several people in your home develop symptoms. Never take a risk when CO is involved as that risk can be deadly. 
Published in Blog
Monday, 31 August 2020 10:41

Prep Your HVAC for Fall

repair refrigerator job with pressure gauge technician vacuum system picture id1174364782
 
1. Change air filter - Air filters should be changed bi-monthly or monthly if you have someone with allergies or asthma in your home. Use this opportunity to make sure you have a fresh air filter in your HVAC unit. Dirty filters hinder airflow and make your HVAC work harder, which uses more energy and costs you more money, plus adds wear and tear to your system.
 
2. Change thermostat settings - As the weather turns colder, you'll want to adjust your thermostat settings to be cooler when you are not home and to warm up when you normally arrive home. This way you save money and energy without sacrificing comfort. 
 
3. Clean the coils - Clean the condenser and evaporator coil on the outdoor unit. Brush away dirt, grime, leaves, lawn clippings and other debris from the coils. 
 
4. Clean away debris from the exterior unit - Clean the exterior and around coils to remove gunk and debris that can hinder airflow. Also make sure trees and shrubs are trimmed back away from the unit to avoid impeding airflow from growing foliage. 
 
5. Insulate pipes - Use foam pipe covers to cover pipes and electrical wiring from the unit to your home. Secure it in place with duct tape. This will help prevent freezing and cracking pipes during the colder months. 
 
6. Test the heat - Test the heat to ensure it's working before you actually need it. It might have a slight burning smell for the first hour or two as the unit burns off any dust that has collected inside. If the heat doesn't work, you can call a pro to look at it before you actually need it on a cold day or night. 
 
7. Have your system professionally cleaned and inspected - Having a professional out to service your system includes lubricating motors, checking belts for tightness and wear and tear, inspecting and tightening electrical connections, testing for and sealing duct leaks, verifying proper operation of the system, testing airflow, calibrating the thermostat and checking the refrigerant levels. It's ideal to have this professional service in the fall before you turn on the heat and in the spring before you fire up the A/C. 
 

Fall is just a few short weeks away. Take some time now to prep your HVAC system for the cooler fall weather so you don't end up with no heat on a cold day or night. A little preparation now can save you money from an emergency service call later.

Published in Blog