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Carbon Monoxide: Three Important Combustion Analyzer Maintenance Tasks

By David Richardson In the middle of summer, most HVAC professionals don’t think about combustion testing. While I don’t agree with this mindset, I understand why many in our industry think this way. When it’s 90°F outdoors, the last thing you want to do is turn a furnace on. During this busy time, technicians don’t use their analyzers much. However, if you take a few precautions before the cooling season begins, you won’t have… Read More

Carbon Monoxide: A Look at Side-Wall Power Venters

By David Richardson Side-wall power venters are an excellent venting option for non-condensing, fuel-fired equipment. They are an alternative to consider when an existing flue is unfit to use or undersized. Often, as I discuss them in class, I find it is the first time some students have seen or heard of them. This caused me to wonder how many technicians never encountered a side-wall power venter. With that in mind, let’s look at… Read More

Carbon Monoxide: Consider the Door Switch

By David Richardson If you’re an HVAC technician who works on gas furnaces, you’ve encountered a bad door switch. Most of us would admit that we had to bypass a few to get the heat back on. But is this a wise choice and what could happen if you leave the furnace in this condition? Door Switch Function First, let’s talk about the door switch and its purpose. If you pay attention to the… Read More

Carbon Monoxide: Installing Flue Pipe Test Ports

By David Richardson A controversial topic among contractors, auditors, and inspectors is if it’s acceptable to install a flue test port for combustion safety tests. Often, disagreements come from a lack of understanding and knowing the test ports value. Let’s look at some of these concerns and why a test port is a necessary part of any fuel-fired installation. The Concern The main concern with a flue test port is that it could allow… Read More

Carbon Monoxide: Four Obstacles to CO Safety Testing

By David Richardson Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is one of those scary issues that most HVAC professionals hope to never encounter. As with many frightening things we want to avoid, this doesn’t make the issues go away. The threat is very real even though a blind eye is often turned to it. With all the stories and reports regarding the dangers of this silent killer, I’m amazed more HVAC technicians don’t test for it. Read More

Carbon Monoxide: Don’t Forget the Gas Lines

By David Richardson A few months ago, there was an unfortunate story in the national news about what occurs when gas leaks aren’t discovered and repaired. Three people died from a house explosion after they made multiple calls about smelling gas. After the first call, the gas company responded, but it’s unclear what actions they took. Later, another call was received from the same home and the occupants still smelled gas. Firefighters were dispatched to… Read More