We need to inform people living in Stouffville on how to prepare for and avoid house fires. Heating systems are one of the leading causes of house fires, second only to kitchen equipment, according to data, therefore it is essential to be aware of furnace safety. Fortunately, there are some simple precautions you can take to minimize the possibility of a fire and keep your house and family safe and prepared in case of emergencies.

Furnace Fire Causes

Furnaces may get very hot, especially if they are used constantly during the wintertime. Because of the heat, you should keep the area surrounding your furnace free of clutter. The majority of Stouffville fire deaths are the consequence of flammable objects being left close to a heat source, generally the gas furnace. To reduce the risk of fire, you should leave at least three feet of space around your furnace free.

You need to look for discoloration or heat on the walls surrounding the furnace. If you discover any of these indications, contact Air Tech Toronto to have a professional heating specialist inspect your gas furnace.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness in Stouffville

As a byproduct of burning fuel for heating, your gas furnace may emit potentially hazardous gases. Some of these gases, such as carbon monoxide, are odourless, making them extremely dangerous. When typical fuel-burning appliances and equipment which burns natural gas, oil, wood, propane, and kerosene do not get enough oxygen to burn, this odourless gas is generated as a byproduct of insufficient combustion. Furnaces, though, are intended to safely exhaust harmful gases outdoors. To minimize carbon monoxide buildup in the home, make sure that your vents are clean of any clogs or dirt.

Carbon Monoxide, known by its chemical fourmula of CO, is a toxic gas that cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. CO is also known as the “silent killer.”

Carbon monoxide may accumulate in the house, particularly in enclosed areas, and this can have devastating consequences on humans and all living creatures.

CO has warning signs by how it affects humans. CO poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • burning eyes
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • drowsiness

CO poisoning affects your body’s ability to absorb oxygen. It can cause brain damage and death in extreme situations. The elderly, children, and those suffering from heart or respiratory problems may experience the affects sooner than the others. Even low quantities of CO gas might be extremely dangerous.

The best solution to protect yourself and your family in Stouffville against carbon monoxide poisoning is to eradicate it at the source. When it comes to CO safety, here is a checklist to take into account.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances installed by a professional Air Tech Toronto technician with over 35 years of experience.
  • Have all your fuel-burning appliances and vents are inspected annually.
  • Keep chimneys clear of small animals, leaves, and other debris to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Ensure your furnace is inspected for adequate ventilation.
  • Install a working carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas in your home.
  • Remember to test your CO alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.

Small Animals Can Cause a Furnace Fire

As leaves and tiny animals might sneak into your vents, it’s a good idea to make it a routine practice to check them frequently. If you have a cat, you may have seen it resting on the heating vent that delivers air to your ducted furnace. It may not be cold enough in the home or outside yet, but cats enjoy resting on furnace vents. Cats, like any other animal, are always looking for ways to feel relaxed. You may believe that your cat is intelligent enough to avoid every risk in your home on their own, but it may or may not recognize real danger. There are a number of HVAC hazards in your basement, including your gas furnace. Sitting near or on the furnace should not be encouraged.

Fill out our Air Tech Toronto online booking form to book your next appointment in Stouffville.

We need to remind Richmond Hill residents how we can prepare for and prevent home fires. Since statistics show that heating systems are one of the main causes of home fires, second only to cooking equipment, it is important to be aware of furnace safety. Fortunately, there are some basic tips that can help to reduce the risk of fire and keep your home and family safe and prepared for emergencies.

Furnace Fire Causes

Furnaces can become hot, especially when they are in constant use during winter. This heat means that you should keep the area around your furnace clear. Most of fire deaths in Richond Hill are the result of combustible materials being left near a heat source, usually a furnace. Ideally, there should be at least a three foot area of space around your furnace to reduce the risk of fire.

You should also check the walls near the furnace to check for discoloration or heat. If you notice any of these signs in the vicinity, call a professional heating expert from Air Tech Toronto to check for gas furnace dangers.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness in Richmond Hill

As a side effect of burning fuel for heat, your furnace will produce potentially dangerous fumes. Some of these fumes, including carbon monoxide can be odorless, which makes them especially dangerous. This odourless gas is produced as a byproduct of combustion when common fuel-burning appliances and equipment that use natural gas, oil, wood, propane and kerosene, don’t get enough air to burn up completely. Fortunately, furnaces are designed to safely vent these fumes outside. Therefore, to avoid carbon monoxide build up in house, it is important to ensure that your vents are clear of any obstructions or debris.

Carbon Monoxide, also known as CO, is a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. CO is often referred to as the “silent killer”.

Carbon monoxide at home can build up, especially in a confined room or space – and this can lead to toxic effects on humans and pets.

CO has warning signs by how it affects humans. CO poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, including:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • burning eyes
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • drowsiness

CO poisoning makes it difficult for your body to absorb oxygen. In severe cases it can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory issues may feel the effects sooner than others. Even small amounts of CO gas can be dangerous.

The best way to ensure that you and your family in Richmond Hill are not exposed to carbon monoxide is to eliminate this poisonous gas at the source. Here is a list to follow when it comes to CO safety.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances installed by a professional Air Tech Toronto technician with over 35 years of experience.
  • Have all your fuel-burning appliances and vents are inspected annually.
  • Keep chimneys clear of small animals, leaves, and other debris to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Ensure your furnace is inspected for adequate ventilation.
  • Install a working carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas in your home.
  • Remember to test your CO alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.

Small Animals Can Cause a Furnace Fire

Leaves and small animals can get into your vents, so it is a good idea to establish a routine of checking your vents are clear. If you’re a cat owner you may noticed your cat sitting on the heating vent that distributes air for your forced air furnace. It might not even be that cold in the house or outside yet, but cats love sitting on furnace registers. Cats like any other animal are constantly searching for comfort. You might think that your cat is smart enough to avoid all danger in your home on their own, but it may or may not understand where danger lies. In your basement there are a number of HVAC dangers including your furnace. Sitting near or on the furnace shouldn’t be something you encourage. There is always chance they get too close to the pilot light or brush up against a hot tube or duct. Cat and small animals pose a furnace fire hazard.

Fill out our Air Tech Toronto online booking form to book your next appointment in Richmond Hill.

Boiler Maintenance: Proper Servicing

Just like any other heating appliance or mechanical system, your boiler requires regular service and boiler maintenance to ensure it’s operating efficiently and safely. While there is some maintenance that building managers can carry out, it’s always advisable to have a professional boiler maintenance or HVAC technician take care of annual service needs.

What To Expect During Commercial Boiler Maintenance

Typically, if your boiler maintenance is taken care of by a professional HVAC technician from a reputable company like Air Tech Toronto then there should be little to no disruption in your building or facility. A regularly scheduled annual service request should take between 1 and 2 hours and leave your building with a boiler that’s running safely and efficiently.

During servicing a boiler maintenance technician will perform a variety of tests to find out what needs attention and what doesn’t. These tests are different depending on whether your boiler is oil or gas fuelled, and the resulting output will determine the type of maintenance required to keep your boiler working efficiently.

Why Do I Need Boiler Maintenance?

By ensuring you book annual boiler maintenance your effectively extending the lifecycle of your boiler, and ensuring it’s proper functioning until the next boiler maintenance appointment. Each boiler comes with unique specifications that dictate how it should be configured and operating, which is uniquely set by the manufacturer. Adhering to these guidelines helps make sure that your boiler lasts as long as possible, and reduces the risks of accidents, faults, and other expensive repairs.

As time passes the efficiency of any boiler decreases, no matter how often maintenance and repairs are performed. This is a result of soot production from the combustion, which coats the heat exchanger. Decreased performance can also occur as the air/fuel ratio changes over time due to the gradual wearing of different components. Boiler servicing removes the soot from boiler components and adjusts the air/fuel ratio as best as possible to achieve optimal combustion.

Thinking about your boiler like an automobile is an easy way to remember that it needs regular maintenance and attention to maintain efficiency and proper operation.

For more information about boiler maintenance and professional boiler services contact Air Tech Toronto today. With over 30 years of experience serving Toronto, York Region, and the rest of the GTA Air Tech Toronto has the knowledge and skills you needs to get your boiler up to its optimal levels. Call: (905) 737-5016.

You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You can’t taste it. You could be breathing it right now, being poisoned to death without even knowing it. It’s carbon monoxide (CO), and it’s deadly. It’s known as “the silent killer” because we can’t sense it, and it can kill slowly or in minutes.

The problem is very real. In 2002, over 12,000 calls related to CO in Ontario were received by the Canada Safety Council.* In the winter of 2013, several families in the Toronto area were killed in their sleep by carbon monoxide**. In Canada, 380 deaths were caused by accidental CO poisoning from 2000–2009, according to Stats Canada.***

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans are killed every year from carbon monoxide poisoning, which makes it responsible for more poison-related deaths than any other form of poisoning.

Common Sources

Carbon monoxide is naturally produced as a combustion by-product. So anything that consumes fuel will produce carbon monoxide. That’s why leaving a car idling in an enclosed space like a garage is so dangerous.

But many common household items are also potentially lethal sources of CO. Gas or oil powered water heaters and furnaces are common sources of accidental CO poisoning. Kerosene and propane space heaters claim lives every winter as a result of CO poisoning. And fireplaces that don’t draw properly also pose a risk. Any device or appliance that burns fuel and is not ventilated properly represents a potential risk.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning does produce recognizable symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or irritability

But quite often the symptoms of CO poisoning are mistaken for those of other illnesses, such as the flu. And since CO poisoning can strike quickly, it’s not uncommon for victims to fall asleep perfectly healthy, and never awaken if exposed to carbon monoxide as they sleep.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

You can ensure you stay safe with a simple CO alarm. They’re not expensive – most are less than $50 – and they’re available at most hardware stores. Just make sure you get one that’s certified by the CSA (Canadian Standards Association).

Install one or more alarms near the furnace and living/sleeping areas. Test the alarm regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you hear the alarm sound, leave your home immediately. Dial 911, and do not go back inside your home until the problem has been professionally fixed.

Also, it’s important to make sure your furnace and any other fuel-burning appliances are installed correctly and serviced regularly by a professional.

CO Detectors are Now Mandatory By Law

As of October 15, 2014, homeowners in Ontario must install a carbon monoxide detector or face a fine. Just like the laws for smoke detectors and seat belts in cars, the law will no doubt save many lives. You can learn more about the law here.

Everyone is at Risk

Who’s at risk of becoming a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning? Everyone. But certain groups are more susceptible to the dangers of carbon monoxide, such as the very young and the elderly. People with underlying health concerns such as respiratory illnesses and heart disease are also more likely to succumb to CO poisoning.

But everyone is a potential victim. That’s because the effects of carbon monoxide are cumulative. When you breathe CO, it accumulates in your blood. As blood levels of CO increase, your body’s ability to distribute oxygen throughout the body degrades. If CO poisoning is allowed to progress unchecked, brain damage and death can eventually result from a lack of oxygen at the cellular level. In essence, your body suffocates to death.

Avoid Becoming a Statistic

The insidious nature of carbon monoxide poisoning makes it seem somewhat of an innocuous threat. As the old saying warns, a threat that’s out of sight also tends to be out of mind.

But the tragic annual death toll racked up by carbon monoxide poisoning each year disproves another old saying: “What you can’t see won’t hurt you.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills many poor souls every year that neither see nor smell the danger. They just slip away without ever knowing they were in danger. That’s why it’s so important to stay very alert to the potential perils of carbon monoxide poisoning, and to protect yourself with an alarm.

If you’re unsure about anything to do with carbon monoxide in your home contact Air Tech Toronto today: 905-737-5016

References and Additional Reading