January 1, 2018 Jeff Rosenblum
Hello all! I have a question. How safe is the home you are entering and how safe is that home when you leave? Do you know?
So, what exactly am I taking about? Carbon monoxide. We are in the heating season now and unfortunately we are going to hear stories on the news about CO poisoning. This is an ongoing issue and we hear about it every year. There are too many stories of families, businesses and daycares having CO issues. One story that comes to mind was from a few years ago. There was a daycare in the basement of a church. The boiler was having issues and was causing CO levels around 400ppm in the air. The teachers noticed a problem when all 20 kids were getting sick and so were the adults. Was the CO level of this boiler ever checked?
Now we all know that CO is a product of incomplete combustion. But how do we know if it’s incomplete? We’ve all probably heard that if the flames are blue then it’s burning clean. That is a pure myth. We cannot judge the safety of the equipment based on the color of the flame. We must test it!
In order to test it you need to use a combustion analyzer. There are several on the market right now. By utilizing a combustion analyzer we can determine CO, O2, CO2, flue temp and efficiency and much more. In this day and age we simply cannot guess. We must test! By testing the equipment, we can determine if there are any potential safety concerns. Now you can feel better that at the time you leave, the equipment is running correctly.
So what is correct? We like to see CO levels no higher than 100ppm undiluted and stable. Lower levels are always better but we need to make sure it is stable. This is just the beginning of combustion testing but a good starting point. As a note: CO should be tested in the equipment, undiluted, not in the air. Testing for CO in the air has its merits but often leaves potential issues unseen.
So going forward lets make sure we are well equipped this winter and we test everything.
If you need any additional info please don’t hesitate to call the Famous Supply HVAC Tech Dept. Have a safe winter!
19 Years Industry Experience
Cell (330) 962-2491