Category Archives: Cabon Monoxide Problems

The Advantages of Installing a Boiler for Your Heating

Boilers were among the first of whole home heating systems, so they’ve been around a long time – but don’t let that imply they are not up to date with today’s standard for energy efficiency. Today’s boilers have average efficiency ratings of 89%, in addition to providing other benefits for your home heating. But quality installation is just as important as having good equipment, so if you are ready to install a boiler in Northern Colorado, make sure you call the people you can trust: Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air.

Two Types of Boilers

Boilers are part of a hydronic system, meaning they use hot water or steam to heat your home. There are two ways in which the water can be heated

  • Water Tube
  • Fire Tube

With a water tube boiler, the water is held inside metal tubes that are heated on the outside via flames or hot gases. In a fire tube boiler, the opposite occurs : tubes are placed inside the water container; the tubes are then heated with combustion gases. and the heat from the tubes transfers into the water. The two most common fuels used are gas and oil, but other fuels like wood or wood pellets can also be used.

Advantages of Boiler Systems Comparative to Furnaces

Boiler systems have a few advantages that make them attractive to homeowners:

  • Good for allergy sufferers – hydronic systems do not rely on forced air distribution, instead utilizing radiant heating systems or radiators. As such, there is no circulating dust to worry about, which can be very beneficial should you have allergy sufferers in your home.
  • Even gradual heating – the heating of a boiler system is very gradual, as outlet points radiate the heat as opposed to blowing it out, as with a forced-air system.
  • Easy zoning – the piping used with a boiler system can be easily zoned then duct-work. Also allows for more comfort from room to room with designated zones.
  • Quiet operation – the only time you hear noise is when your boiler is heating the water in your system, otherwise, the operation is very quiet.
  • Retains heat longer for better over all efficiency. With a furnace, if you open your door you lose a lot of your heat and have to recover that gradually. With a boiler your heat stays retained within the pipes keeping your floors warmer with significantly less heat loss.

Hydronic heating is a safe, comfortable and economical way to heat your home. Hydronic systems circulate hot water through baseboards, radiators and or radiant tubing in your floors or ceilings. There are many advantages to heating your home using a hydronic system, whether it is a new install or retrofit for your existing system.

The Importance of Boiler Maintenance

One of the most significant reasons why good boiler maintenance is so important is because it helps prevent unexpected shutdowns which could not only be inconvenient but also costly for after hours calls. Getting set up on a scheduled boiler maintenance and inspection helps increase the life of your boiler and takes all the worry out of the last minute service calls.

This scheduled maintenance is especially important to check for leaks on your flues and heat exchanger. If your flue or heat exchanger is damaged from lack of maintenance you are putting you and your family at risk of Co2 exposure. Your boiler technician will check for Co2 levels to make sure your family is safe against this silent killer. This also goes for a heat exchanger on your furnace.

Side Arm Tanks

Side arms tanks are used so that the boiler can provide both space heating and domestic hot water (DHW). The tank stores a consistent temperature water similar to a hot water tank so when there is a call for heat in the home your hot water use will not be compromised. These can really make a huge difference in your home comfort if you already have a boiler without a sidearm that also provides DHW for your home. The thermal mass of the side arm tank stabilizes domestic hot water delivery temperature during long demand periods. This help reduce fluctuation in delivery temperature throughout your daily use.

 

 

Boilers have been around a long time for good reasons. If you think a boiler system in Loveland is a good fit for you, call Ace Hi Heating and Air Conditioning, Today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.

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December,January and February Peak Months for Fires

 

The leading factors that contribute to home fires  in the winter are : heating,holiday decorating,candles,electrical issues and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Heating is the second leading cause of US home fires,deaths and injuries.

Home heating equipment was involved in 16 percent of home fires,19 percent of home fire deaths,12 percent of home fire injuries and 15 percent of direct property damage.  Failure to clean chimneys and furnace equipment was the leading cause of fires.  However,space heaters,including portable heaters and those that are permanently installed,were involved in five out of six home heating fire deaths.

Heating equipment is often too close to things that can burn,such as furniture,clothing,mattresses or bedding and has been found to be the leading cause of fire deaths.

Carbon Monoxide-is an odorless and colorless gas.

In the home,heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel such as natural gas or propane are potential sources for carbon monoxide.

In 2010 US fire departments responded to an estimated 80,000 non-fire incidents in which carbon monoxide was found.  An average of nine calls per hour.

The number of incidents increased 96 percent in 2003.

Have your furnace and water heater inspected annually, if you smell gas go outside and use your phone to call your local plumber of hvac specialist.

Make Yourself Aware When Purchasing A New Water Heater – ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR, INC.

MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF ALL REQUIREMENTS INVOLVED WHEN YOU PURCHASE A NEW WATER HEATER. THERE ARE COMPLIANCE CODES INVOLVED WHEN REPLACING A HOT WATER HEATER.

Water Pressure Regulators

If your water pressure is above 80 PSI, it’s recommended to install a pressure regulating valve. As population density increases, water pressure goes up as well. However, high water pressure can damage your plumbing and fixtures, including your hot water heater. Pressure regulating valves will prevent unnecessary stress on your plumbing system.

Venting

In addition to placement in a certain area, the CO emissions of a water heater require it be properly vented. This will prevent any CO from entering your home and living areas. The vents must be made of a proper material and keep specific clearance from combustible materials.

Approved location

Gas water heaters emit carbon monoxide (CO) when they run. 10,000 people die in the U.S. every year from CO poisoning so it’s important the water heater is placed in approved location. For example, in some areas, water heaters are not allowed to be installed in closets, unless they are only used for it.

Carbon Monoxide and Water Heaters – ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR, INC.

WHY CO2 AND WATER HEATERS??

Approved location:

Gas water heaters emit carbon monoxide (CO) when they run. 10,000 people die in the U.S. every year from CO poisoning so it’s important the water heater is placed in an approved location. For example, in some areas, water heaters are not allowed to be installed in closets, unless they are only used for it.

Venting:

In addition to placement in a certain area, the CO emissions of a water heater require it be properly vented. This will prevent any CO from entering your home and living areas. The vents must be made of a proper material and keep specific clearance from combustible materials.

CO Detector:

A carbon monoxide detector or CO detector is a device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide (CO) gas in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. In the late 1990s Underwriters Laboratories (UL) changed their definition of a single station CO detector with a sound device in it to a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.

Combustion Air Infiltration & Carbon Monoxide Problems – ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR

COMBUSTION AIR INFILTRATION

When a structure has a properly designed combustion air inlet system, the furnace enclosure has two dedicated vents communicating with the outside air, eliminating the need to obtain combustion inlet air from or through the living space. Residences with a non-dedicated combustion air inlet systems are the homes that are at risk. As a result of modernization, these homes may have worked fine since they were built, but can develop problems. This includes new high-efficiency window, weather stripping, and general sealing of the structure.. Anything that disturbs the pressure in the space can affect the operation of the furnace. The filtration rate may be diminished if a house is tied up for energy conservation. The house pressure drops as the furnace draws combustion air from the space and eventually the house pressure can drop enough to reduce the combustion air inlet pressure to a point that the flue will quit drafting.

Other things that can reduce combustion inlet air pressure can include the furnace blower return air drawing from the furnace enclosure, which should always be well sealed. Ductwork supply leaks can cause pressure in the structure, and the house pressure will drop, if the duct system pulls more air out of the house than it returns due to supply leaks. Closing the doors to rooms that have no dedicated return air grille can aggravate supply duct leaks. Exhaust fans drawing on the house can also reduce combustion inlet air pressure. This includes clothes dryers, bathroom fans, whole-house fans, range hoods, other gas appliances, and fireplaces. And finally, customers sometimes block furnace door vents to reduce noise, but whether a blockage of a furnace enclosure vent is intentional or unintentional, this can also cause the reduction of combustion inlet air pressure.

The Fundamentals of Carbon Monoxide- ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR

Safe and efficient combustion in a furnace requires a proper air-to-gas ratio. This is dependent on the availability of air(combustion inlet) and the ability to discharge oxygen-depleted air (flue gas venting). There is a potential for incomplete combustion whenever there is a malfunction of either the inlet or outlet system. This can result in carbon monoxide (CO) gases.

Residential gas heating systems with non-dedicated combustion air inlets are inside the living space without direct communication to the outside air. Many of the older homes have furnaces that draw air from the occupies space. As the air is pulled from the space, it is replenished by air infiltrating the house through the window, doors, and other obvious opening. This can create a potentially dangerous situation.

Modification done to a structure can inadvertently inhibit this flow of combustion air, causing the furnace or any other gas appliance to malfunction. Other problems in the house can turn an improperly vented furnace into a CO-generating machine.

FUNDAMENTALS

Most residential furnaces use natural draft to drive the combustion process. Even 80%-AFUE furnaces with combustion blowers are natural-draft furnaces.The combustion blower assists the combustion gases, but the flue still operates like a natural-draft furnace. The natural pressure differential created by heating the combustion gases in the furnace is what pushes the flue gases up and out of the flue.

Combustion gases expand as they are heated which makes them less dense than the colder air entering the furnace, so they weigh less. They also exist at a lower pressure than that of the colder inlet air.

Since the combustion gases are at a lower pressure, the higher-pressure inlet gases displace them, pushing them up and out of the flue. The inlet air must always be at a higher pressure than the combustion gases so that this pressure differential can be maintained in order for the flue to operate properly. Air stops drafting through the furnace when this pressure differential is diminished by the flue pressure becoming too positive or the combustion air inlet becoming too negative. This is when CO is created and if the furnace is not drafting, the CO ends up staying in the residence.

The pressure differential needed to drive the flue gases up and out of the furnace is somewhere between 1 and 5 Pascals depending on the outdoor temperature. This means as the flue gases leave the furnace, they must be at -1 to -5 Pascals relative to atmospheric pressure. The pressure differential needed to be maintained between the inlet and outlet of the furnace’s combustion air inlet system is very delicate and can be easily disturbed. Anything that will raise the pressure in the flue or lower the pressure in the combustion air inlet system can interrupt the flow of air through the furnace and create carbon monoxide.

ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR – WINTER HOME SAFETY AUDIT

To make sure your home and family get through this coming winter both safe and sound, you should take the time to do your own home safety audit. Follow these steps to perform your winter safety audit.

STEP ONE – INSPECT THE FURNACE

Start with the obvious and have a professional inspect and service your furnace. Everyone is going to be spending more time indoors during the winter. You should make sure that your furnace is working properly, the pilot light and the thermostat are both working properly and the filter is clean. You should also make sure that there are no leaks or openings in your supply lines or furnace ducts.

Experts recommend changing regular furnace filters once a month during the heating season and changing high-efficiency filters at least every three months. Make sure to get a supply of filters that fit your unit. Having clean furnace filters is extremely important. A blocked furnace filter can cause the “limit switch” on your furnace to activate, turning it off and leaving you without heat until the switch is replaced by a professional.

Be sure to remove any flammable items from around your furnace including paints, paint thinners, and paper products. If you have a fireplace, be sure to have the chimney cleaned to get rid of any creosote buildup and eliminate the possibility of chimney fire.

STEP 2 – SEAL THE FOUNDATION AGAINST RODENTS

Seal any openings in your walls including the tiny ones and move any piles of wood or firewood away from your foundation. A mouse can get through a 1/4-inch opening. This will keep the mice and voles out of your home. These animals are not dangerous but could be carrying diseases. No one wants to share their home with dirty rodents.

People need handrails and solid steps in icy conditions so be sure your steps and handrails are sound. Repair them now while the weather is still warm. Doing so can prevent accidents from happening this winter

STEP 3 – CUT THE OUTDOOR WATER SUPPLY

Shut off the water supply to your outside taps and drain the supply lines as it gets colder in the fall. Doing so guarantees that there will be no water left in the pipes to freeze and burst them.

STEP 4 – PREPARE THE CARBON MONOXIDE AND SMOKE DETECTORS

Be sure to have fresh batteries for your Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors if you have these installed in your home. If you do not have these installed, now is the time to do so. They are easy to install and inexpensive. Most importantly, they could save a life. Also, be sure to have your fire extinguisher checked. Consider buying a new one if the extinguisher is more than 10 years old.

STEP 5 – PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES

Prepare your emergency kit. You will need candle and a lighter or matches, a flashlight and batteries, a portable radio, blankets, and warm clothes for everyone. Be sure to stock bottled water and nonperishable foods for your family and pets, a first aid kit, And finally, be sure to have a camp cooking stove in order to have warm meals even if it’s only canned soup.