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Carbon Monoxide “Protect Yourself from the Silent Killer”
Energy Savings Agreement
Understanding efficiency & operating cost

Carbon Monoxide “Protect Yourself from the Silent Killer”

Perhaps the most serious safety concern associated with your gas or oil burning furnace, kerosene heater or gas or wood-burning stove is Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal if not detected early.  CO is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels.  Hence, the danger with household appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or even wood.  If not properly maintained, these appliances can produce dangerous levels of CO in the home.

Each year in the United States alone approximately 5,000 people are treated for CO poisoning in emergency rooms.  This number is probably lower than the total of people actually affected by the hazard because many individuals who suffer from the flu-like symptoms are misdiagnosed and never receive treatment.  In 1989, 220 deaths were attributed to CO poisoning from gas-fired appliances alone.

The following series of Questions and Answers can help safeguard you from this serious health hazard.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
Inhalation of CO can cause headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, and weakness in healthy individuals.  At high levels, carbon monoxide may even result in loss of consciousness and death.  Because some of these symptoms are similar to the flu or other common ailments, you may not immediately associate them with CO poisoning. If you detect a sudden onset of more than one of these symptoms, or they occur to more than one person in the household at once, take steps immediately to remove yourself from the environment and determine the cause.

Are some people more vulnerable to the exposure of CO than others?
Infants, unborn babies, and individuals with anemia or a history of heart disease are more vulnerable to CO poisoning than others.  For people with chronic heart disease, low levels of carbon monoxide can result in fatigue and increased chest pain.  But no one is immune to the debilitating effects or fatal potential of CO poisoning.  If you even suspect the potential presence of CO in your home, act immediately to ventilate the area or leave the premises until professional help can be obtained.

How can I prevent dangerous levels of CO from accumulating in my home?
There are primarily three things you can do to protect your family from this subtle, silent killer:

1.    Make sure your systems are correctly installed.  - Proper installation is vital to the safe operation of combustion appliances.  New appliances are equipped with installation instructions that should be carefully followed.  Conform to local building codes as well.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee proper venting as required.  And always use a qualified service technician to install combustion appliances.  If in doubt, call a technician to make sure your system is correctly installed.

2.    Make sure your systems are properly maintained.  - Have your home’s central and room heating appliances, including water heaters and gas dryers checked annually by a qualified service technician.  This annual inspection should include your furnace, thermostat controls, automatic safety devices, and all other electrical and mechanical equipment.  Here are a few other tips:

  • Check chimneys and flues for loose connections, blockages, and corrosion.
  • Subscribe to an annual inspection/tune-up service agreement. 

 

A service agreement means you'll never forget to have your system maintained on a regular basis.

  • Install one or more UL Certified Carbon Monoxide Detectors in your home. – CO detectors measure both high concentrations of CO over short periods of time and low concentrations of CO over long periods of time.  Since the effects of CO can be cumulative, both methods of protection are vital.  Detectors are designed to sound an alarm before the level of CO in a victim's blood becomes crippling.  Beware of low-priced detectors that change color instead of sounding an alarm.  These detectors require frequent checking and won’t alert you to a sudden buildup ofCO in the air.  We offer a high quality CO detector.

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CO Detectors can save lives.

What are some of the signs that my home may be at risk for CO problems?
Signs that may indicate improper appliance operation include:


  • Furnace runs constantly or is unable to heat the house
  • Decreasing hot water supply
  • Unfamiliar or burning odor
  • Soot, especially on appliances
  • Increased condensation inside windows

Visible signs that may indicate a CO problem include:

  • Rust or stains on vents and/or chimneys
  • Improper connections on vents and/or chimneys
  • Appliances that make unusual sounds or emit unusual smells
  • An appliance that keeps shutting off.

Many new appliances come with safety features that prevent operation in unsafe conditions.  If you have an appliance that stops operating, it may be due to a dangerous condition.  Don't try to operate an appliance that keeps shutting off.  If this happens, contact your service technician.

Additional Tips

  • Never use a range or oven to heat living areas of the home
  • Never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in the home
  • Never keep a car running in an attached garage

Energy Savings Agreement

Click Here to access our Energy Savings Agreement.


Understanding efficiency & operating cost.
Like many other appliances, the cost of your indoor comfort system includes not only its initial price, but also the ongoing costs of operation and maintenance. This means that the cooling and heating equipment and controls that you select today will continue to impact your finances for as long as you live in your home. That's why investing in a high efficiency comfort system makes sense.


SEER



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Calculators

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 » HVAC - Operating Cost Analysis
 » HVAC Efficiency Finder

 

A Wise Investment
Your heating and air conditioning typically account for more than 40% of your home's annual energy costs. In effect, your indoor comfort system is the only part of your home that can actually pay for itself while also providing the added benefits of increased comfort and quieter operation.
The Impact of SEER Rating on Energy Costs
For every $100 you spend to cool your home using a 10 SEER system, you would spend considerably less using a system of 12 SEER of higher. For example, if your annual cooling costs were $1,000 with a 10 SEER system, they could be reduced to $710 with a 14 SEER system.


Other Energy Efficiency Factors
Although the efficiency of your cooling and heating equipment will have the greatest impact on your energy usage, other factors will also help reduce energy costs.

  • Maintain Proper Humidity
    When cooling during the warm humid months, you will feel more comfortable at a higher temperature if the humidity level in your home is kept between 40 and 60%. This will reduce the load on your equipment and can save 10 to 15% in cooling costs.
  • Condition Only Occupied Rooms
    Zoning or Programmable Thermostats can control your equipment according to your family’s lifestyle and daily occupancy schedule. This allows you to eliminate the wasted energy of conditioning areas in your home that are unused or unoccupied.

Keep Equipment Clean
Regularly scheduled professional maintenance is also crucial to maintaining your system’s maximum efficiency. Keeping your equipment clean by using an Electronic or Mechanical Air Cleaner will help maintain your system’s optimum performance too.

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