Tag Archives: home safety

Ensuring Boiler Safety

Ensuring Boiler SafetyIf you’ve recently purchased a home that has a boiler, you may not be familiar with this kind of heating system. Boilers heat water using gas or electricity, then pump the hot water through piping to radiators in each room, or circulate it through tubing installed under the floors. For the well-being of your family, you should ensure boiler safety by following these steps:

Have the Heating System Maintained Annually

A boiler is just like a gas furnace or heat pump in one regard – it needs regular preventive care from a qualified HVAC pro to operate safely. When you schedule an annual system inspection, cleaning and tuneup, a technician will complete a number of safety-centric tasks, including:

  • Verifying correct water pressure, temperature and flow.
  • Checking the water level and testing the low-water fuel cut-off.
  • Inspecting the pressure tank and testing the pressure relief valve.
  • Verifying proper pump, zone valve, and damper operation.
  • Checking for corrosion and cracks in the heat exchanger.
  • Inspecting and cleaning the burner.
  • Cleaning the pilot assembly and orifice, and inspecting the flame sensor.
  • Checking for leaks and the condition of the seals.
  • Lubricating all the system motors.
  • Inspecting the venting system.
  • Checking the wiring and electrical connections.
  • Testing key safety features including the high limit control.

Stay Vigilant About Developing Issues

In between professional maintenance visits, it’s important to stay vigilant for newly-developing problems with your boiler, and call your HVAC contractor for help if you have concerns. Signs of potential safety issues with a boiler include water leaks or puddles near any of the system components, alarming or odd new noises coming from the equipment, and a distinctive sulfur-like or rotten-egg smell that warns you of a gas leak.

Install and Maintain CO Detectors

If you have a gas-fired boiler, deadly carbon monoxide (CO) can be produced if it’s not combusting fuel properly. To warn you about the presence of this life-threatening gas, you need to have CO detectors installed throughout your home, then test them monthly and replace their batteries regularly.

 

To learn more about boiler safety, contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

5 Tips for Preventing Gas Leaks

5 Tips for Preventing Gas LeaksA gas leak can be dangerous, even deadly, to you and your family. If you notice a sulfuric, rotten egg smell in your home, it’s important to get out immediately. But how can you prevent gas leaks from happening in the first place? Here are five preventative measures you can take.

1. Ensure proper installation.

Any technician who installs a gas-powered appliance in your home needs to be an accredited Gas Safe Register engineer. They are properly trained and certified to deal with gas lines safely and minimalize the risk of leaks.

2. Schedule an annual inspection.

Your annual HVAC inspection provides preventative maintenance on a number of fronts, including a chance for your HVAC technician to spot potential leaks and fix them before they become problems. If you have a gas stove or other gas appliances in your home, be sure to have them inspected regularly as well.

3. Have proper ventilation.

Any gas-powered appliance should have a vent nearby to eliminate carbon monoxide fumes. This vent should be kept clean and unobstructed at all times, to ensure that the gas doesn’t accumulate in your home.

4. Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors.

A CO detector can give you an early warning in case of a leak or other carbon monoxide buildup. Test it regularly to make sure it’s working properly and replace the batteries once a year. The detector itself should be replaced every five to seven years.

5. Know the signs.

Even with preventative measures, gas leaks can still happen. It’s important to know the signs, know what to do, and recognize the symptoms of CO poisoning. In addition to the rotten egg smell, also listen for hissing, gurgling sounds near your pipes. If you suspect a leak, leave immediately. Don’t turn off the lights or touch any electric devices, switches, or outlets. Call 911 and your gas company. Check your family to see if anyone is experiencing headaches, nausea, or dizziness. If they are, get them to the hospital.

 

To learn more about preventing gas leaks, contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We’re Peachtree City’s trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

How to Deal with Humidity Under Your House

How to Deal with Humidity Under Your HouseHumidity effects on your house range from structural issues, to health concerns, to just plain old uncomfortable living. But where’s the humidity coming from? The answer may be very close—like right beneath your feet.

 

The crawl space or basement of a house are often zones of high humidity. These enclosed spaces can form a reservoir of water vapor that continuously migrates upwards into living spaces. Infiltrating humidity, in turn, degrades wooden floor structure, triggers indoor mold growth and makes keeping the house comfortable more difficult in all seasons.

To control humidity effects originating beneath the house, check out these potential sources:

  • Pipes leaking. Drips and seepage from aging plumbing may be inconspicuous, but these water sources can keep a crawl space or basement continuously damp. This moisture turns into humidity that penetrates the house.
  • Bathroom issues. Fixtures may leak water from hidden defects, rotting the floor directly beneath and soaking the area under the house. A defective shower stall pan, enclosed beneath the stall, is a frequent suspect for covert bathroom leakage.
  • Overflowing gutters. If your gutters resemble Niagara Falls during heavy rain, they’re probably clogged due to leaves or other debris. The cascade of water saturates soil adjacent to the foundation or basement, causing chronic moisture in these areas that may raise household humidity.
  • Rising ground water. A naturally high water table in the soil beneath the house may continuously send water upwards through the soil and into the crawl space or infiltrate though cracks in the concrete basement floor.

Removing The Source

If leaky pipes are suspected, a professional plumber can pinpoint the problems and suggest options for repair. The same goes for diagnosing hidden leakage originating from a shower stall or bathtub drain. Cleaning gutters three times a year is good insurance against clogs that cause overflows. For ground water issues, a sump pump is recommended to continuously collect and remove infiltrating water. Ultimately, installation of a dehumidifier in the basement or crawl space may be required for long-term humidity control.

 

For more about dealing with humidity effects originating under your house, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

New Air Conditioner? Sizing Guide

New Air Conditioner? Sizing GuideWhen you’re in the market for a new cooling system, nothing is quite as important as the air conditioner sizing process you’ll go through with your HVAC contractor. Cooling systems aren’t a one-size-fits all appliance. Much of how they’re sized depends on the energy efficiency of your home first, and its actual size second.

The Process

Reputable HVAC contractors use Manual J software to run the sizing calculation, also called a load calculation Manual J requires the following elements of your home in order to calculate the optimal A/C capacity:

  • Insulation levels in the attic and walls.
  • Number of windows, their sizes, placement and orientation to the sun.
  • Air infiltration rates.
  • Cubic footage to cool.
  • Floor plan design.
  • Number of heat-producing appliances indoors.
  • Landscaping factors.
  • Temperature preferences, family size and ages.

The process will take time and it has to be done at your home. The HVAC pro will measure your windows, calculate the cubic footage and inspect the insulation levels. He’ll ask you questions about your family’s preferences and lifestyles for cooling.

Once all the data are input, the software returns a sizing recommendation. The next step is to use

Manual J’s sister software, Manual D, to properly size the ductwork to match the new air conditioner.

The Value of Sizing HVAC Equipment

Air conditioner sizing is so important because equipment that’s not the ideal size won’t run as efficiently. In our climate, a system that’s too large will increase energy costs and leave excessive humidity behind. One that’s too small won’t keep your home comfortable during periods of extreme heat.

 

Ductwork that doesn’t match the air conditioner will be noisy if it’s too small and ineffective if it’s too large. When air goes through a space that’s tight, it whistles. When there’s too much capacity in the duct, it won’t blow through forcefully enough.

 

When you’re replacing your cooling system, taking the time to go through the air conditioner sizing exercise will pay you back in greater comfort and lower energy bills. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Avoid Using Furnace Rooms as Multi-Purpose Storage Areas

Avoid Using Furnace Rooms as Multi-Purpose Storage AreasFire safety is always at the top of every homeowner’s list no matter what time of year it is. But, given the fact that we’re heading into the colder months of the year, we thought it would be fitting to discuss the dangers of storage in mechanical room areas, such as the room where your furnace resides.

 

The Need for Additional Storage

 

If you’re like most people, you own many items that require storage throughout the year. Perhaps you have a collection of family mementos that you want to hold on to or maybe you have boxes full of Christmas ornaments and decorations. Point is, you have more than enough stuff and are always looking for the best place to store your belongings.

 

Why You Should Never Use a Furnace Room for Storage

 

While many homes have multiple places where you can store various items, your furnace room should never be one of these places. Personal belongings often include items that are either flammable or susceptible to fire. Some have even been known to house dangerous elements like solvents and cleaning supplies. If your furnace malfunctions or an accident occurs, a fire could erupt very quickly. This is why you should never use a furnace room for storage, no matter the situation.

 

How to Prevent a Fire in the Furnace Room

Keeping your family and friends safe from the dangers of a fire in the furnace room can be accomplished by following these tips:

  • Schedule an annual maintenance inspection of the furnace with a qualified technician.
  • Do not store any cardboard boxes, cleaning materials, or chemicals anywhere in the room.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Purchase at least one fire extinguisher and make it easy to locate.
  • Do not block the entrance to the room or the areas surrounding the furnace.

To learn more about the dangers of storage in mechanical room areas, or if you have other home comfort concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly professionals at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Peachtree City and the surrounding areas since 2001.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.