Ace Air, Inc. Blog: Archive for the ‘furnace’ Category

Can Heating Systems Warn Residents of a CO Leak?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Carbon monoxide is a serious health risk for Merced residents. It is an odorless gas that is produced as a natural byproduct of combustion. So, any time something burns, like in a gas powered furnace, carbon monoxide (CO) is released into the air.

As long as the area is properly ventilated, the carbon monoxide cannot build up in the air to a dangerous level of concentration. For example, if you are around a campfire or charcoal that is burning outside, you are generally safe.

In the home, the heating system maintenance is needed when combustion is not properly ventilated and this toxic gas is allowed to seep into our living spaces. If you use any gas, fuel or wood burning appliances in your home, you are at risk for exposure to carbon monoxide. To help mitigate that risk, it is important to know some warning signs. Your heating system gives off some warnings that can tip you off to danger, so be on the lookout for these three signals:

  1. Carbon monoxide detector goes off. Some heating systems these days have built-in carbon monoxide detectors, which can provide an extra measure of safety. Whether you have one of these systems or not, your home should still be equipped with a CO detector. If it begins sounding the alarm, get everyone out of the house immediately.
  1. A fume vent is leaking. Fuel-burning furnaces have vents to move combustion gases out of the house safely. If you notice this vent is leaking on your heating system, CO may be seeping into your house. Shut down the furnace, open windows for ventilation and have the fume vent repaired immediately.
  1. Smoke backing up from the fireplace. If you have a fireplace and you notice smoke in the room while using it, stop using it immediately. Your chimney may be blocked or leaking, preventing the smoke from rising and venting properly, which means CO can e getting into your house. Do not use the fireplace again until you have had the chimney inspected.

Please take care and note this is just a simple guide. There are other risks and warnings of carbon monoxide. If you have any suspicion that there is CO in your home, immediately call Ace Air Conditioning to look into the situation.

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Simple Steps to Prevent Heat Loss in Winton

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

There are two fundamental ways to make your house warmer in Winton. One is to generate heat, which is the job of your furnace or boiler. The second is to keep the warm air in — and thereby keep cold air out — which is the job of your system of insulation.

The idea that the physical structure of a home can be a component of the HVAC system is one that is often overlooked, but when you think about it, it makes sense. The insulation, windows, doors and building materials that comprise your home are designed to keep the place warm against the cold and vice versa.

So, when bolstering your HVAC system to promote efficient heating, it is important to also consider heat loss and how to prevent it. This is a process that can get out of hand if you go overboard, so it is important to prioritize. Let’s look at the top 3 places to start when trying to prevent heat loss.

  1. Keep doors and windows closed. This seems obvious when you read it, but you would be surprised how often people overlook this one. When it is cold outside, keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. This one small step can prevent a lot of escaped heat.
  1. Sniff out and seal off drafts. Even when closed, your doors and windows could still be letting warm air out. If they are worn, improperly sealed, improperly installed or if the surrounding construction is deteriorating, your doors and windows can’t work optimally. Additionally, see if your vents or ducts are leaky.
  1. Start at the top. If you want to go farther in sealing your house up against the cold, it is time to work on the insulation. When installing new insulation, remember that heat rises, so you get the most bang for your buck by starting at the top. If you only have the budget or time to insulate one space, make it the attic. You can work down from there.

These areas should be your top three priorities on your mission to prevent heat loss in your home. If you start here, you will get the best gains with the least effort.

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What to Check if Your Furnace is Constantly Running

Monday, January 30th, 2012

It’s good to know your furnace works and it’s better for it to stay on than to never turn on, but if the temperature outside increases in Merced County and your home turns into a sauna, it will become incredibly uncomfortable very quickly.

When such a thing happens, you probably want to know why your furnace won’t turn off. Here are a few possible issues that might be causing the problem.

  • Shorted Wires – Wiring is a central component of your furnace, air handler and thermostat. So, if any of the wiring shorts out, such as the thermostat, a relay between the thermostat and the furnace or the blower itself, the furnace can stay on indefinitely. A professional will need to inspect  to determine the full extent of the damage and what needs to be replaced.
  • Bad Limit Switch – A limit switch is necessary to stop an electrical device from running when certain conditions are met. In the case of a furnace, that would be when the temperature in your home reaches the thermostat setting. If the limit switch goes bad, either your furnace or your blower will continue to run (and sometimes both).
  • Relays – Relays are used to control the electrical components of your furnace such as the blower fan, especially when it has a multi-speed motor. If the relay goes bad, the fan may be stuck in the on position and continue to blow air into your vents.

No matter what causes the problem, if your furnace never turns off, it is something you should have inspected right away. It doesn’t matter whether the furnace is producing heat or if the blower is simply moving air through the vents – it can cost you a bundle and every moment the device is left on puts more pressure on the components of your heating system.

On top of all that, there is a very real risk when electrical components are involved. A shorted wire or bad relay can make operation of your furnace dangerous. If a circuit breaker flips at any point, you should call a professional immediately because it is almost certainly an electrical issue and needs to be resolved before anything else happens.

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