November 14, 2013

Know the dangers of not maintaining your homes furnace.

St. Louis Residential HVACThousands of Americans will be flipping the switch in the next coming weeks and setting their thermostats to 68 degrees without giving it a second thought. They will expect their furnace to work just as fine this winter as it did last winter and will never even think about having an HVAC tech come out to perform routine maintenance. In fact, many people do not think about an HVAC tech at all, until something breaks. The trouble with that plan is that in the meantime, your unmaintained furnace could be killing you.

Avoid Costly Repairs or Replacements

We all know that yearly maintenance can save us expensive repairs or replacement in the long run and yet many people still choose to avoid it. Unfortunately many of us adhere to the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Trouble is, if the furnace is not cleaned and maintained, it will break. Let’s look at the monetary side first. A system that is not cleaned does not run as efficiently. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are blown away each year by homeowners who do not keep up with furnace maintenance. Changing out dirty filters and cleaning the running parts will help keep your utility bill low. Another factor to consider is that not keeping up with maintenance may void a warranty. Say you don’t bother having your furnace checked for 3 years and now it breaks down and requires expensive repairs. Well, it is only 5 years old and should still be covered, right? Not necessarily. Most warranties have maintenance provisions in them. Manufacturers know that not keeping up with that will eventually cause a system breakdown. They don’t want to be responsible for paying for that.

The Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

That is just the monetary side. Scarier is the risk to your families’ health.
One component of the HVAC technicians’ maintenance check is the flue and chimney. They are looking for leaks or obstructions that may allow carbon monoxide to enter your home. If that does not seem plausible to you, consider this: More than 200 people will die in 2014 from carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. Specifically from ventilation issues with the home heating system. On top of that, an additional 10,000 carbon monoxide related illnesses will be reported.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to many common illnesses and are not always treated properly right away. By the time they are, permanent damage may have been caused to the brain and heart. All of this because someone did not feel like having the HVAC guy over for an inspection.

The reason for the rise in carbon monoxide poisoning is a double-edged sword. In an effort to cut back on energy costs, homeowners are making their houses more airtight.  That means less fresh air entering the house and stale air leaving it. Furnaces rely on oxygen to burn fuel and if deprived of it they produce carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide is released into the home, which is now so airtight there is no way for it to escape, and its occupants are slowly poisoned by it. The only way to avoid this from happening is to have regular maintenance checks on your heating system.

Protecting Your Family

Think about this carefully as you turn on your furnace for the first time this season. What may not seem broken to you could actually be slowly killing you.  Contact Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788 before using your furnace this winter.