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Monthly Archives

December 2014

Winterize Your A/C to be ready for Spring

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With all the cold weather we’ve been having lately, hardly anyone is putting any serious thought into their air conditioning system. After all, it will be months before that system will get used again. Very few homeowners realize that this is the best time of year to take care of the yearly maintenance that is required on their air conditioning systems. Because the system isn’t being used, it’s possible to accomplish everything on the following list without worrying that you’ll need to turn the system on. Winter is also a good time to look for discounts on professional services that your system needs. Remove debris from the outside unit. In the fall, most people have an outside unit that is covered in leaves and branches. As the weather gets colder, this debris can get covered by snow and turn into a paste that can fall through the protective grating, coating your system. Avoid this by getting that stuff away from your unit. Replace your filter. Ideally, you should replace your filter once a month, but at the very least it needs to happen once a season. As you start to use your heater, you’ll want clean air to breath. Flush your condensation pipe. This is the pipe that takes condensation from your inside unit to your outside unit. Because its end is open to the elements, however, it’s common for it to get clogged with leaves or pests in the fall. When you turn on the unit again in the…

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Carbon Monoxide Awareness

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Carbon monoxide poisoning remains a real threat in many homes across the world today – but few people understand what the danger is or what the warning signs of carbon monoxide leaks look like. Fortunately, problems are easy to prevent with the right education and response.   What is Carbon Monoxide? Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a carbon molecule made with one atom of carbon and one atom of oxygen (as opposed to the exhaust-related carbon dioxide, which has two atoms of oxygen). The molecule is produced in a number of different reactions, but it is most common when fuel is burnt in spaces with limited access to oxygen. It is a little less dense than air, which means that it tends to rise more easily than settle. CO is known as a relatively neutral gas, with few interactions with other compounds and an odorless, tasteless, colorless nature that makes it difficult to detect. It is also considered a highly toxic compound based on its effect on the human body.   Where is Carbon Monoxide Found? When chemical reactions cannot access enough oxygen to create carbon dioxide, they produce carbon monoxide. As a result, carbon monoxide is produced in many types of combustion – this is why it is present in car exhaust and house furnaces. It also tends to be present in a variety of other gas burners, although the amount can vary considerably. The least efficient fuels, such as coal, tend to have the highest amount of CO.  …

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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Often, when we think of installing alarms and security systems to keep our family secure, we forget about the silent killer — carbon monoxide. This deadly poison invades our homes because it is difficult to detect. We must remember that this toxic gas finds its way into our homes through many sources we would often never think of. Carbon monoxide is harmful and very dangerous. Based on the amount of exposure, it can be lethal. The Consumer Product Safety Commission refers to carbon monoxide as a leader in accidental death poisonings in the U.S. This gas sends thousands of people every year to the emergency room and kills over 450, according the Center for Disease Control. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless and nearly impossible to detect. Things we think are harmless, such as unburned fuel from clothes dryers, ovens, and fireplaces, are all culprits for carbon monoxide. This list is bigger than the closed garage door with the car running we are often familiar with. When carbon monoxide gets into our lungs, it enters red blood cells and creates a barrier blocking our ability to take oxygen into our red blood cells. This blockage causes damage to our brains and lungs and produces suffocation. With limited warning to danger, we must protect our families by installing carbon monoxide detectors in the home. These detectors signal an alarm based on the amount of carbon monoxide that gets into the air over time. The alarm will not turn off until…

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Be Sure Your Family is Safe

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Winter is busy with school activities and the holidays. Other worries can make you can feel overloaded. Then you hear about a family who died in their own home – a place where we are all supposed to be safe – of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and you hope your furnace is in good condition. An average of 430 Americans die each year of accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Many of those deaths occur in homes with malfunctioning heat chambers or improperly vented heaters. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas produced by incomplete combustion in fuel-burning devices such as motor vehicles, gas-powered furnaces, portable generators, and charcoal grills. Gas, oil, and wood burning heaters in your home also produce this deadly gas. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Don’t lie in bed before you and your family drift to sleep, hoping you’ll be safe. You can know that your home is safe by simply picking up the phone. Make a call to an experienced HVAC contractor. Your professional will inspect your unit for wear, cracks, and proper function. He will also inspect the venting of your gas, oil, or wood heating unit. Even if a heater has been properly installed, the vent could become clogged by leaves or nesting birds. Your professional can also check and replace your filters. Your HVAC expert is also able to discuss age and efficiency of your unit. Older models are more prone to…

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