Valley HVAC Company Gives Advice for Heater Safety

Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing wants valley residents to check their heaters before use

(January 10, 2017) – With winter off to a slow start in Arizona this year, many Valley residents will be using their heaters for the first time this month. According to Damon Bromagem, VP of Residential Sales and Service for Chas Roberts, furnaces require the same kind of attention and maintenance that air conditioners do. “But unlike air conditioners, heaters here stay dormant most of the year. They are affected by the elements and can develop issues like cracks in the heat exchangers and buildups,” he said. “And this can be potentially dangerous.”

If left unchecked, a crack in the heat exchanger can lead to health complications from carbon monoxide poisoning, which makes it all the more important to catch it early. The first step is a quick visual inspection of the heat exchanger to check for obvious issues like cracks, which could allow carbon monoxide to enter the living space. Changing the air filter is also helpful, especially if it hasn’t been done since the A/C unit stopped running regularly. Damon Bromagem, V.P. of Residential Sales and Service at Chas Roberts says that a “test fire” of the furnace is also a good idea as part of the maintenance process. “A test fire will show you whether or not the system is working as intended. If the system struggles to heat the home or the flame isn’t burning properly during the test fire, this indicates there is an issue and potential safety concern.”

Cleaning the heat exchanger and making sure that there is a functioning carbon monoxide detector are also very important safety measures that should be considered, according to Bromagem. “I’d highly recommend a cleaning and an investment in a very inexpensive carbon monoxide detector. The detector is something you can pick up at a home improvement store or from your air conditioning professional during your furnace maintenance. It will be the first line of defense between your family and a potentially dangerous carbon monoxide leak.”

In addition, Chas Roberts offers some other tips that will help with performance, safety, and longevity of a home heating system in the valley:

What You Can Do Now

  • Clear two feet of space around outdoor heating units.
  • Never close more than 20% of a home’s registers to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the heater. More often than not, this causes more work for the heater.
  • Keep an eye on the thermostat. Turning it down a few extra degrees in the winter, and up a few degrees in the summer can save energy usage and lower wear and tear on your heating and cooling Phoenix.

Monthly or Seasonal Upkeep

  • Replace or clean your air filter (depending on if it is reusable or not) at least every 90 days. If you have pets, replace/clean it every 30 days.
  • Listen for any squeaks or noises when manually inspecting moving parts. Sometimes the best indication of something wrong is when your heating system sounds abnormal.
  • For Gas Heaters – Check the furnace flame. It should be a solid blue, not flickering yellow or orange. Irregularities in the color could mean your unit has combustion problems.

Annual Upkeep

  • Replace your carbon monoxide detector battery. This is just as important as replacing your smoke alarm battery.