Best Plumbing Companies in OKC | Lakeshore Plumbing
Why Should I Have My Heater Checked?
Well, it’s mid-February, and it looks like most of the really cold weather is behind us. It’s nice to be able to finally go outside and feel the warmth of the sun. It’s a great time of year, but the temperature still drops down during the nights, and there are still smaller storms that bring a little cold back into the mix of things.
In a month or so, maybe sooner, you won’t need to use your heater at all. But until then, there are still some cold days and nights ahead. There were several winter storms this year, so getting back into warmer weather and lower gas bills is something you’re probably really looking forward to.
For some people, it seems like the heater was running all winter long, or if not, then it was turning off and on a lot just because the weather changed so much so often. And I’m sure that there are some people out there that can say, “that old heater probably didn’t know whether it was coming or going. The one thing about it though, that old furnace just keeps on working. They just don’t make them like that anymore.”
While it is always a blessing when anything that you use a lot holds up to the test of time, some things need to have a closer eye kept on them. Most homes and businesses in the US use natural gas to heat, especially in Oklahoma, where we have quite a bit of oil and gas available. That’s why it’s essential to have reliable plumbing companies OKC and OKC plumbers to provide maintenance for your furnace and other heating appliances.
Generally, gas furnaces use a heat exchanger to warm the air as it passes through your heater. The way that it works is relatively simple: gas is burned and vented through a tube or tubes that are mounted in the furnace, which circulates air through the ductwork throughout the building. Basically, the fire goes through the inside of the tube, and the conditioned air is blown over the outside of it. Since just like water and air, metal will expand and contract as it is heated and cooled, the metal of the heat exchanger will too. Over time, this is going to add stress, and other factors such as poorly vented heaters that can allow acidic condensation to collect on the inside of the flue pipe, drip down into the heat exchanger and rust it out.
Heaters typically come with a 15-20 year heat exchanger warranty, so they are durable if installed correctly. However, during extended periods of cold weather, your heater will work harder, and if there is a venting problem, it will produce more condensation on the heat exchanger. Thus, over time, all heat exchangers wear out, but when you add corrosive condensation to the mix, the lifespan of your heater will be significantly reduced. Although your heat exchanger may be under warranty, labor expenses are usually not covered, and depending on the age of the unit, replacing the heat exchanger may not be cost-effective.
However, a cracked heat exchanger can lead to a more severe problem, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Although we are all aware of the dangers of CO, identifying its source may not be straightforward. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector, you may not even realize it is present since it is odorless. Approximately 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, with the elderly and other vulnerable groups being more susceptible to the lethal gas.
You may be wondering what you can do to avoid this problem. First and foremost, you should purchase one or more carbon monoxide detectors and install them. There should be at least one detector for each floor of your home, mounted about 5 feet high on a wall near the bedrooms, in a hall, or somewhere similar. Having one in each bedroom is also a good idea. CO is lighter than air, so it accumulates at the ceiling and fills the room from top to bottom. As a result, placing the detectors about 5 feet high will put them at the average height of people exposed to the gas.
It is also crucial to be aware of the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, which include dizziness, nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, weakness, confusion, and blurred vision. If it is present while you are sleeping, there is a high likelihood that you will fall asleep and not wake up.
If you are looking for plumbing companies OKC or OKC plumbers, here is some helpful advice to keep your heating and air-conditioning equipment in tip-top shape.
If you’ve been around long enough, you probably remember the old wall heaters in the old bathrooms. They were great in the wintertime when you stepped out of the shower or tub soaking wet. But the only problem with them is that they are unvented and have been responsible for many deaths. People would lay down in a bath full of warm water and in a small room full of carbon monoxide, they would never even know they had been poisoned. This can be tragic, especially since it is entirely preventable.
Having a CO detector is essential and can be a life-saver. But what can you do to keep your heater in tip-top shape? As a homeowner, the best thing you can do is change the filters and make sure there is adequate insulation.
Having your equipment serviced, inspected, and cleaned twice a year is the most important investment you can make in your heating and air-conditioning equipment. Your technician can determine if any repairs need to be made, and even more importantly, if there is a problem that could cause serious property damage, bodily injury, and death.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Many people won’t know it’s a problem unless someone knows to check for it. For some people, when they first hear about it, they see it (and sometimes rightly so) as just a scare tactic or something used to sell them something they don’t really need. The truth is, in this case, it is crucial to spend the extra time and money to properly maintain, inspect, and repair your equipment. Your heating and cooling equipment is just like everything else, the harder you work it, the sooner it breaks down. When you add poor venting or a lack of fresh combustion air to that, you’re going to have a lot more stress on everything. So, you can very quickly exceed the price of regular maintenance when you have to start fixing stuff or, worse, having to replace it.
If you need plumbing companies OKC or OKC plumbers, at Lakeshore Plumbing Heating and Air, we offer top-tier service, the best materials, and the best warranty. Spring will sneak up on you, so call us to schedule an AC Tune-up. We can check your plumbing, make any repairs that are needed, and maybe even save some heartache at the same time.
Don’t forget to ask about $100 discount for first-time customers!