Production of Carbon Monoxide Gas:
With the heating season upon us, now is the ideal time to have a trained professional examine your gas fired Heat Exchangers, water heaters and or cooking equipment. Anytime there’s a flame applied to produce heat to any type of vessel the potential of CO gas is present. A Heat Exchanger does exactly what its name would suggest: it allows for the transfer of heat when fuel (gas, natural or LP) is burned inside of a heating unit. While the design of different heat exchangers vary, they all transfer heat to the supply air as it moves past the hot heat exchanger without letting any of the exhaust fumes mix with this supply air. This newly heated air is then distributed throughout the building’s space. When a flame burns improperly or not completely – it creates Carbon Monoxide. Since CO (Carbon Monoxide) is a lethal gas, poorly maintained “Heat Exchangers” can result in catastrophic situations. An ounce of preventative measures can help avoid any potential of CO from being produced.
A very serious (and potentially deadly) problem can arise if a heat exchanger develops a crack. The leading cause of cracking is the normal, repetitive process of heating and cooling the metal heat exchanger. Over time, this stress on the metal can develop into cracks. Carbon Monoxide will leak through these cracks and into the supply air as it passes by to get warmed. This toxic gas would then be distributed
throughout the building, instead of continuing through the heat exchanger and exhausted, as intended by design.
A regular visual inspection by a trained professional is the best way to identify a cracked heat exchanger. Air quality can also be verified with a Carbon Monoxide Tester, within the space, as a secondary means of checking CO levels after the visual inspection. And if a crack is found, the heat exchanger must be replaced in order to ensure the safety of building occupants.
While UmbrellaOne does not offer recurring or proactive HVAC maintenance services, our facility consulting division has the experience and ability to assist you in the review of your current HVAC maintenance program, HVAC vendor procurement and/or confirmation of contract rates, terms and conditions.