5 Tips to Manage HVAC Safety in Your Home
Your HVAC unit can provide you with many benefits throughout the year. Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter months is reason enough to invest in an HVAC system, but know that having one means taking on some added responsibilities. In order to keep your home both comfortable and safe all year, you’ll want to be knowledgeable about some important HVAC safety information.
Some aspects of HVAC safety can be done on your own, while others are best left to professionals. Local HVAC technicians, such as Entek in Oregon, can service, maintain, and repair your unit should it need assistance. There are also a few things that you can do to make sure your family is as safe as possible when you own an HVAC system.
Here are five tips to help you better manage HVAC safety in your home.
1. Own Smoke Detectors
When dealing with dangerous substances like gasoline, fire, oil, and electricity, there’s always a chance for an accident to happen. Sometimes, keeping up with HVAC safety has less to do with the unit itself and more to do with how prepared you are should an issue occur with your unit. If you have any type of HVAC system in your home, you should also own a smoke detector.
Smoke detectors are the ideal way to alert your family should there be a fire in the home. Fires from HVAC units can start at any time and are known to spread rapidly within just a few minutes. This type of event is even more likely to happen if your unit isn’t well-maintained. With smoke making it harder to navigate your way through the home, you don’t want to wait for it to be the signal that alerts you to your home being on fire. Instead of waiting to see or smell the results of a fire in your home, a smoke detector will set off an alarm in your house that will loudly and clearly notify everyone within the building. Having a working detector can allow you and your family to safely exit your home and have a better chance of avoiding any injuries.
2. Own Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Another device that’s just as important as smoke detectors in your home is a carbon monoxide detector. Unlike fires, carbon monoxide gives little to no warning that it’s beginning to infiltrate your home. This invisible gas can cause serious health consequences and even death in only a couple of hours as it travels invisibly through the air. Carbon monoxide detectors can detect when this substance is present in dangerous quantities and set off a signal to alert your family that the home is no longer safe to be in.
Having both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector is a step in the right direction, but making sure that they are always in working order is also important. Keeping up with this specific maintenance is another responsibility you’ll be taking on when you own them. Be sure to check the batteries in both detectors often, notice when they’re blinking or signaling that they need to be changed, and change them immediately. This will ensure their performance when you need them most.
3. Clean Filters Regularly
One of the more common tasks associated with HVAC safety in the home is cleaning air filters. Air filters in HVAC units are what collect and trap harmful residue in the air, such as pet dander, pollen, mold, and dust. As it grabs bacteria from the air, the filter stores it so that it doesn’t recirculate back into the air. When your air filter isn’t cleaned for an extended period of time, it becomes harder for your unit to work properly, making it likely to exert more energy to produce the same results as before.
Keeping an unclean air filter in your unit for too long can also lead to some unpleasant health issues over time. With so much debris on your filter, it’s easier for that debris to get redistributed into the air that your family breathes. An abundance of this debris can cause your family to experience allergy-like symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and trouble breathing. When left too long, a dirty filter can also become the perfect environment for mold to grow, which will come with a slew of other potential health issues.
4. Keep the Area Around Your Unit Clear
Depending on where your unit is located, it may be prone to obstructions from other items. While some of these objects may seem harmless, having them too close or inside of your HVAC unit can cause devastating results. Outdoor units in particular can often fall victim to falling leaves and branches that can find their way into the unit. To avoid this from happening and potentially causing a safety hazard, try to cut back any bushes or trees that are too close to the area around your outdoor unit.
As for indoor units, keeping a clear and debris-free surrounding area is just as important. Having items too close to your indoor unit can create a fire hazard by clogging your unit’s filter area and restricting proper airflow. Maintaining a safe distance of two feet around your unit can greatly improve the overall safety of your home.
5. Schedule Maintenance Services
When it comes to HVAC safety, prevention is often the best route of attack. One of the best ways that you can maintain your safety when you own an HVAC is to have regular maintenance scheduled with local professionals. This type of service allows technicians to get a look at your unit before a problem arises and either prevent it from occurring or catch it before it becomes worse.
Occasional maintenance programs, like the one offered at Entek, allow technicians to check things like your air filters and coils for signs of wear and tear. They’re also able to access different parts that aren’t reachable to homeowners, such as the interior of your unit or inside air ducts. Investing in this type of service can end up saving you a lot of money on costly major repairs. It will also maintain a level of safety in your home that lets you rest easy.