While residential heating and cooling systems are designed and engineered to operate as safely as possible, HVAC safety hazards can still occur. Furnaces and air conditioners integrate moving parts, electrical wiring, high temperatures, and toxic substances, and they are installed in certain areas of the home that may present hazards. That’s why maintenance and repair of these systems should be left to a qualified professional HVAC contractor with the training and expertise to do the job correctly and safely. Here are some potential HVAC safety hazards to be aware of in your home:
- Electrical issues. All of today’s heating and cooling systems utilize electrical power, including gas-fired furnaces. The system blower fan is electrical, and central air conditioners incorporate a powerful compressor motor in the outdoor unit that requires high-voltage wiring.
- Toxic flammable gas. A natural gas leak from a faulty furnace or appliance presents a critical fire or explosion hazard. If you notice the pungent odor of natural gas in the home, get everyone out of the house first, then call the fire department or the gas company.
- Carbon monoxide. This odorless, colorless gas is a byproduct of natural gas combustion in a furnace or certain appliances. Carbon monoxide accumulating inside a house can quickly cause unconsciousness or death. Defects such as a cracked furnace heat exchanger or an obstructed vent could allow carbon monoxide to infiltrate the house and pose a threat to occupants. To reduce this danger, schedule regular annual furnace preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC professional. Also, install carbon monoxide detectors inside your home per local regulations, and make sure to test the units monthly.
- Unhealthy zones. Some HVAC components like system ductwork are installed in hazardous areas of the house, primarily the attic and crawl space. Attic hazards include extremely high temperatures during the summer, inhalation of dust and insulation fibers, and danger due to falling. A crawl space can harbor toxic mold growth, poisonous pests, standing water, and exposed electrical wiring.
Avoid HVAC safety hazards. Contact the trained professionals at Detmer and Sons for installation and repair of all heating and cooling systems.