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Replace Existing HVAC Equipment Electric Heaters for Safety, Liability Protection, and Prevention of “No Heat” Calls from Dissatisfied Consumers

During the past decade, millions of HVAC equipment electric heaters have been installed in homes and buildings nationwide that do not conform to the current edition of the governing National Standard UL 1995, Fifth edition, and do not conform to all previous editions in terms of hazardous temperature prevention.

Warren Technology’s “SAFE-SET” system allows users to reset the thermal cutoff from any conventional thermostat.
Warren Technology’s “SAFE-SET” system allows users to reset the thermal cutoff from any conventional thermostat.

Although these heaters have been tested to operate in abnormal intended operating conditions (such as restricted airflow from dirty filters, fan malfunction, etc.), they have not been tested to prevent hazardous temperatures and fires and therefore do not conform to any revision of the Standard. Safety Certification Labels applied to these heaters mislead Code enforcement inspectors and end users to mistakenly believe these heaters comply with the Standard and that they are safe; but the heaters do not conform to any revision of the Standard, and they are fire hazards.

The test in the Standard for abnormal operating conditions requires automatically resetting temperature-limiting controls which are defined in the Standard as “devices whose failure might result in a hazard” and, therefore, they are not considered safety devices because they can, and do, wear out over time and eventually malfunction.

Most importantly, the laboratory test in the Standards, to prevent hazardous temperatures and fires, requires non-self-resetting temperature cutoff devices (thermal fuse links or manual reset controls) which are necessary to pass the hazardous temperature test, however, these critical devices have been omitted in all of the subject heaters, putting unaware and unsuspecting consumers and the public at risk of fire and death without warning.

Fire departments nationwide have responded to an average of 7,200 fires per year (from 2002 to 2016) involving central heating and air conditioning systems of which the electric resistance heat component part has the most potential to cause fire. The use of non-self-resetting thermal cutoffs in its electric heaters by Warren Technology (which has 20% of the market) has contributed to the reduction of this rate to an average of less than 6,000 fires per year during the period between 2010 to 2018. It is estimated that more than 5,000 more fires per year can be saved by replacing existing heaters without non-self-resetting thermal cutoffs with Warren Technology “SAFE SET” heaters.

Code enforcement inspectors and end-users must be warned of this life-safety defect immediately. Warren Technology offers replacement heaters (for all major brands of HVAC equipment) that conform to the Standard by using “SAFE-SET” a unique thermal cutoff reset system that allows the user to reset the thermal cutoff from any conventional thermostat by simply turning the system off and back on momentarily. This allows the user to restart the system after correcting temporary faults (such as dirty filters, restricted airflow by closed vents, voltage spikes, etc.) and avoid “no heat” inconveniences and wait-time for a service call to investigate the fault(s) and reset the cutoff which, in competitors’ heaters, is located inside the enclosure, inaccessible to the user.

Existing heaters that do not conform to the Standard may be refitted with thermal fuse links or other replacement devices. However, those devices require inventory replacements and access inside the cabinet to reset, while Warren “SAFE SET” does not require replacement inventory and can be reset from any room thermostat brand.

In addition to “SAFE-SET” and conventional features, Warren heaters also have the following unique features and benefits:

  • Time delay between each stage of heat to prevent thermostat overshoot.
  • Restart cycle on power interruption to help prevent utility company power outages.
  • Chatter-poof Direct Current controllers to withstand voltage spikes and brown-outs.
  • 10-year Limited Warranty.

Heaters that do not conform to the Standard can be identified by visiting Warren’s website using the existing heater Make and Model Number at warrenhvac.com/unsafe-heater-identification.

Incorporated in 1957 as a manufacturer of electric heaters, Warren Technology has assumed a leading role within the HVAC industry, designing, developing, and manufacturing a broad spectrum of precision heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning products. Warren’s unitary electric strip heaters are marketed to various O.E.M. Manufacturers and Distributors for use in specified residential and commercial air handling equipment. The heaters fit in all major brands of air handlers, fan coils, package units, etc. Warren was a key player in the development of the current edition of the governing National Standard UL 1995, Fifth edition clarifying wording addressing the safety issue discussed in this article.

For a free on-line system evaluation contact Ed Trout at (305) 556-5435 or etrout@warrenhvac.com.