Two Safety Devices Your HVAC Technician Recommends

When the weather turns chilly across the Texas Gulf Coast, furnaces all over town are firing up to keep everyone toasty indoors; find out about two safety devices your HVAC technician recommends every home should have. You may be stocking up on firewood for your fireplace and putting warmer blankets on your beds. Whenever we are bringing heat into the home, there is an element of risk and another layer of safety is required. When home appliances overheat or when combustion gasses are not properly ventilated, it can create a dangerous situation. Fortunately, today’s appliances, including heaters and furnaces, have more safety measures than ever before and installing two, very important yet inexpensive safety devices provide an extra layer of protection especially during these cool months. You’ve probably guessed by now that we are talking about a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector.

Why do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

Whether you are cooking with natural gas or propane, starting a fire in your fireplace or turning your thermostat up to heat your home, the byproducts of burning a fuel for heat need to be properly ventilated. When this doesn’t happen, carbon monoxide can build-up in the home which is very dangerous. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that displaces oxygen. When exposed to large quantities, breathing carbon monoxide can make people sick or at the extreme cause people to fall asleep to never wake up. My sister’s elderly in-laws were surprised by their carbon monoxide detector going off in the middle of the night a few years ago, but they were glad it did. Their 20+ year old furnace failed why they were asleep and began filling their home with carbon monoxide. The fire department was called because they weren’t sure if it was a smoke or a carbon monoxide alarm, and they found the source of the problem pretty quickly. They spent one night in a hotel and the next day had their heater replaced. That alarm saved their lives that night.

Why do I need a smoke detector?

A smoke detector is safety feature every house should have as a safeguard in the event of an unexpected fire plus the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. While it is rare, unmaintained or very old heaters/furnaces could malfunction by overheating or overloading the electrical system that could cause a fire. Newer furnaces have more protections than ever before, but having a smoke detector is one more safeguard. Plus, other appliances in your home can cause a house fire, and a smoke detector is a smart idea to keep your family safe.

When should I replace my carbon monoxide and smoke detector?

Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are often changed every 10 years. Read the package to confirm, but most require this replacement time to be most effective. Some types will require regular testing and battery replacement. Some you simply plug-in to an outlet. Combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are also available.

Where to place CO and smoke detectors?

At a minimum a carbon monoxide and smoke detector should be placed on each floor of your home, preferably near sleeping areas. They can also be placed in the garage.  Experts don’t recommend placing them near ceiling fans, bathrooms, or fireplaces. Be careful about placement in kitchens so they don’t go off by mistake as you are cooking.

We Can Help

Regular service for your furnace or heater is a smart investment for your HVAC system and will ensure you are cozy when the temperatures in the Houston area plummet. Contact Rob and Kenny at 281-495-7830 at Terry’s A/C & Heating to get on our schedule plus we can install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors while we are servicing your heater or furnace. We are a RUUD ProPartner, and we service all makes and models of equipment. Find out more about things to know about servicing your heater, heat pump or furnace. We would be honored to earn your business. We make house calls throughout the Southwest Houston area from the Energy Corridor, Memorial through the Texas Medical Center and nearby communities including Bellaire, Meadows, Memorial, Pecan Grove, Cinco Ranch, Sugar Land, Fulshear and more.