Archive for September, 2011

Hey, it’s getting chilly!

It’s nice to enter each season of the year with confidence.  Often we wait until it’s time to bump that thermostat up to take the chill off the room only to realize that something doesn’t smell right or the boiler or furnace doesn’t fire at all.  While some of us have Heat Pumps, many here in the Northeast still rely on Boilers, Furnaces or Wood Stoves for our primary heat.

My primary heat is an Airtight Wood Stove.  I know from experience that our chimney needs to be cleaned twice a year, so I get to it in August and then wait for a warm spell in January to get back on the roof for round #2.  In addition, we burn one tank of oil a year in an aging Weil-McLain boiler. Annual servicing of any oil fired system is recommended. Gas systems should be cleaned every 2 years, especially as they age.  Most all heat exchangers develop cracks that can leak Carbon Monoxide.  Most don’t become a problem especially if there is enough draft, but as they age these cracks become larger and more dangerous.  Unfortunately service technicians only do a quick cleaning since heat exchangers are difficult to inspect.  Asking them to specifically look for cracks shows that you have some knowledge of how the system works and want them to be concerned too.

Debates rage over the effectiveness of Carbon Monoxide detectors but the new Recommendation from the National Fire Protection Association is, CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. It’s well worth the time to do some research on the different types and recommended placements of these devices.

The bottom line is;

-Don’t wait until the last minute to have your heating system cleaned and services.

-Check all your Smoke and CO detectors and replace as per manufacturer’s instructions.  They may beep when you push the test button but that doesn’t mean they are functioning properly.

-Now, kick your shoes off and enjoy Autumn…. pay that kid next door to rake your leaves.

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