Vancouver Home Inspections brings you Fall Maintenance Tips #3
1. Dust and test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries in your smoke alarms & carbon monoxide [CO] detectors (semi-annually). And remember, even hard-wired smoke detectors have backup batteries that must be replaced. If you have never checked yours, or not in the last 6 months, do so NOW.
2. Check your furnace. Any signs of rust or scale inside ? Any weird noises ? If so, book a professional inspection…
Be Aware Your Furnace May be Poisoning You! During these cold fall & winter months, one of the major causes of poor health (runny nose, itchy eyes, fatigue, etc.) can be directly attributable to indoor air quality; often “the Silent Killer” (CO). Carbon Monoxide often comes from your furnace or boiler which may actually be transmitting poisonous gases, as with a gas stove or fireplace. Fortunately, these gases can be detected and the problem hopefully avoided.
We should not be complacent with CO gas – it can & does kill.
It is important that people take the necessary precautions to combat CO poisoning. There are inexpensive ways to do this: · purchase a carbon monoxide detector for every floor of your home and replace every 5 years
· have a reputable service company do regular safety checks
· get your gas company to inspect for problems
Never rely only on carbon monoxide detectors as the complete solution. Gas companies recommend annual servicing of your gas appliances to ensure they are running smoothly and efficiently. Many things can cause CO emissions. What condition is your furnace /boiler in?
Your Furnace Sucks—it has to! All combustion appliances “suck” a lot of air. They either get this air from indoors or from outdoors. If they get combustion air from indoors, that house air must be replaced with air from outdoors – usually through windows and doors and wherever else it can leak in – so in this sense it all comes from the outdoors. Inadequate supplies of fresh air can lead to many problems – some of them life threatening…
In winter, most homes are closed up tight to save energy. Many newer homes have screened air-intakes from outside the home that provide combustion /make-up air for furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, etc. For these devices to function properly and to prevent poor air-quality issues within the home, it is important these screens to be maintained free of lint /debris so they are not ‘starved’ for air. Flying insects like to build their nests in these exhaust hoods, as well, and keeping them cleared away is so important.
3. Replace or clean your furnace filters 2-3 times seasonally.
4. Clean air conditioners /furnace grilles and registers.