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- Ventilation, your fuel burning heating system needs to breathe.
Ventilation, it’s just like breathing! Ventilation can mean many things, air surrounding the unit, cold air returns, heated air going from your system to the house through vents, or the bad air ventilation going out from your oil, gas or propane heating system to the outdoors through the flue. Your system breathes similar you how you breathe, air goes in and comes out, but we call it ventilation. What can you do if you are using a fuel powered heating system to heat your home to stay safe? The very first and most important thing is, have working carbon monoxide and gas alarms in the right places, that are tested monthly, and have good batteries in them to keep yourself safe from unsafe gasses and emissions from your heating system, gas appliances, or gas connections in your home. If you are hearing impaired, here is a great resource for you: Hard of Hearing assistive alerting devices (https://mn.gov/deaf-hard-of-hearing/assistive-technology/alerting-devices/) Also, in case of fire or gas leak, have an emergency evacuation plan and do regular fire drills so that everyone can get outside in an emergency. Breathing in: surrounding furnace air & cold air returns For your fuel heating system to start, ventilation coming in is essential. Keeping the intake grate or openings on your furnace and boiler and cold air returns unobstructed is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure safety of your heating system. The air must flow freely into and out of your heating system from cold air returns and the air surrounding the furnace. Your furnace needs oxygen to breathe just like you do, except it uses oxygen to produce a flame during combustion. Some of the newer high efficiency heating systems need even more fresh air than older systems to run at peak performance. If your system is struggling to pull in the air it needs, it is putting excess pressure on the system. This includes dirty air intake filters blocking air flow, so changing them regularly is very important. This excess pressure causes less fuel efficiency and eventually leads to failure of the system. It costs more to run your system and can cause internal damage to your system, such as cracked heat exchangers, which are very dangerous causing raw gasses and Carbon Monoxide to enter the home. Leave 10 inches of space Cold Air returns are essential to your heating and cooling system’s performance whether it is fuel or electric. Hot air rises and cold air falls. Your lower cold air returns, either in the wall or in the floor, are providing the air your furnace or boiler needs to warm and return to the house through the air vents. Covering or blocking these cold air returns causes air pressure issues and your system to struggle to operate. Generally, for proper air flow leave 10” of space in front of your cold air returns. Air returns that are near the top of the wall are usually used for an air conditioning system and if you have cold air returns both above and below, you can generally close the upper return vents in the winter to keep the warm air in the room and close the lower return vents in the summer to keep the cool air in the room to maximize your system. Don’t forget to open these up in the proper time. Ask us which vents should be open or closed, if you have any concerns. Warming the house: ducts and air vents Your ductwork was most likely sized properly for the size of your heating system. Decreasing the number of available vents should only be determined by qualified technicians to make sure there are no backpressure issues in the system. Re-routing of vents should also be done by qualified technicians to make sure there is proper airflow in every room. If a vent is blocked by furniture, there are vent extenders that can be used to bring the air to the front of the piece of furniture. If you have heating or cold air intake vents that are unsightly, there are decorative covers available in stores, just please don’t block the flow of air to these or any vents. Breathing out: flue ventilation, or exhaust Ventilation going out of your fuel heating system, exhaust, through a flue is toxic. You don’t want it inside your house, so it is vented outdoors to dissipate. That is why an unobstructed flue is necessary. Don’t cover your flue up with flowers outside or decorations that may block the airflow. It is not a good place to anchor your rooftop Santa or hang your snow melt cables from. Your flue can, in the worst situation, also emit flammable unburnt gasses if your system is running too rich. If your flue is blocked or obstructed by anything, including a bird or animal nest, please do not run your heating system until it is cleared. Running your heating system with a blocked flue is dangerous to property and life. If your flue is damaged or the pipe that is exhausting the fumes out through the flue is damaged or missing, get it repaired before running your heating system further to keep from having dangerous gasses enter your home. Blocking the flow out of your system is not good, as it can cause backpressure within the system, and leak gasses inside the home because they have nowhere else to go. Call us immediately if your flue is damaged, missing or blocked, so we can get your system running safely so you can use it again. Backdraft, (if you haven't seen the movie, that’s fine; this is about furnaces) n simple terms, is where the system loses pressure which stops the outgoing air, and it comes back inside where it doesn’t belong. If you are having a backdraft issue, you need that inspected and repaired right away to be safe. Creating a safe space around the furnace Another very important safety matter is to not put anything that could cause fire or explosion near, on or against your heating system. Please leave the empty space that the manufacturer recommends around your unit. It is not a good place to store papers, boxes, furniture, curtains, paint, paint thinners, chemicals, rags, cleaning supplies, pool treatments, hairspray, or anything else that is flammable near your furnace or boiler. Intense heat can be generated from your system including vents. Try to keep all airflow unrestricted. If airflow to or from the furnace is blocked, and if something gets too close, it can ignite, causing a fire. This also applies to electric furnaces. Get your furnace maintenance done to keep it running efficiently and safely Lastly, an important thing you can do that may be the easiest of all: call, text or fill out this online request for a boiler or furnace maintenance visit. We have professional technicians trained in combustion safety to make sure your system is running with peak performance and safety. We also test airflow during maintenance visits. Stay tuned for next time, when we discuss Boiler Safety. Take care!
- Combustion safety and your propane, natural gas, fuel oil furnace or boiler
Combustion safety and your heating system Combustion Safety Basics (a refresher or primer) If you have a natural gas, propane, fuel oil (oil or kerosene) fueled furnace or a boiler system, you should know some basics. We know the rest! We at Phoenix Heating and Air are highly trained professionals, trained in combustion safety. We care about you and want you to have a safe home, and that starts with a safe heating system. Combustion: rapid chemical combination of fuel with oxygen, involving the production of heat. Combustion happens within your furnace or boiler. Combustion is what creates the flame. It is a process of fuel, ignition, and oxygen. To have proper combustion you must have proper ventilation, proper gas pressure or proper oil flow to the unit, proper air pressure, and more. Your furnace produces many chemicals during this process, and they are harmful to your health to breathe. That is why you need proper ventilation. Improper ventilation can lead to disaster. Ventilation is bringing good air into the system, and exhausting bad air out the flue. Proper ventilation is so that it runs properly with good airflow and is essential to safety. Unvented fuel appliances are a health hazard. We will go in depth into ventilation next week. Fuel to air ratio Your furnace or boiler, no matter how new or old needs regular inspection and maintenance to make sure it is properly combining fuel and air and not running too rich or too lean. Too lean. Did you know having too much of a good thing isn't always good? A lot of newer, high efficiency systems are designed to run lean but like everything, there is a limit to how lean a system should run. Running too lean is when you have a lot of oxygen and very little fuel. This makes your system not burn fuel the way it should. Too lean causes incomplete combustion, or not enough combustion to keep the flame going like it should. Running too lean also causes excess gasses called nitrogen oxides, which are poisonous gasses. These gasses are similar to what comes out of your car's exhaust pipe. You don't want that kind of air to breathe in your house, so it must be properly vented outside. We will look more into ventilation next time. Too rich? How can I be too rich? Your fuel burning heating system can be running too rich, and that is a bad thing! A system that is running too rich is one that leaves unburned fuel inside your unit and your flue in the form of soot, that when exposed to oxygen may burst into flames, causing a flame where it is not wanted. In other words, it may start an explosion. Too much fuel coming in with not enough air causes a buildup of gas and can cause gasses to build up inside the flue. Getting things just right The proper balance of the fuel and oxygen levels is essential to safety, health and cost of use of your system. We test and adjust (if needed) this balance during maintenance visits. Gas and other pressures If you are using natural gas or propane to heat your home, the pressure of the gas is regulated by the gas pressure valve. The gas pressure need to be tested regularly to avoid damaging the system among other hazards. They may need adjustment periodically. Gas Pressure If the gas pressure is too low, it will lead to more condensation inside the unit which can cause corrosion, cracks, and rust in the heat exchanger. These damages lead to deadly gasses escaping into the home and possibly even explosion. If the gas pressure is too high, it can cause overheating within the unit. This overheating can cause internal component failure which also may cause gas and CO2 leaks in the system. Burning smells, the furnace powering up and down frequently, or stops altogether, can indicate a high-pressure situation. Boiler Water pressure Boilers heat water by combustion of fuel oils, propane or natural gas. The heated water in the tank is also under pressure. This pressure should stay within normal range. See our blog online soon, or in your inbox if you are subscribed, to find out more about boiler safety. Oil pumps and pressure Oil burning boilers use oil pumps to push the fuel to the burner. Oil pumps need a clean filter to maintain pressure, or what we call prime. Sometimes these filters can get so clogged that the debris gets pulled through the line and that can cause a bigger problem. This filter should be checked regularly and replaced when it is due. Oil lines can develop leaks through corrosion or damage from digging. If air enters the line due to a leak or loose nozzle or fitting, that will also make the pump lose prime. Again, not wanting the system to run too lean to make combustion, and not too rich to cause excess fuel in the system is essential. A safe system is quiet, but a quiet system is not always safe Oil pumps going out sometimes make audible noises such as popping, rattling, screeching, slamming or banging. The rooms in your house may be cooler than you’ve set the thermostat to, or different rooms feel different temperatures. Boilers and fuel furnaces that need immediate attention are ones that are kettling, or making other odd noises, leaking any fluids, failure to start, a metallic, burning or rotten egg smell, the pilot light keeps going out, or if it is not heating properly. These can be signs of something seriously wrong with your boiler or furnace. Call us right away and get it looked at before the problem it has gets worse. We will go more in depth about Boilers soon. A gas furnace that is hissing, popping, banging or making any other noise should be inspected right away to be safe. Most problems start silently, and by the time you can hear them it is a bigger problem. Routine maintenance helps find these silent problems before they can be heard. Having a working, tested CO alarm helps protect you in case of gas leaks. If you alarm goes off, get to fresh air fast! Heating systems should be seen and not heard If you hear any noises coming from your heating system, no matter which type you have, please call us right away so we can get that system running safely. A safe system is quiet, but a quiet system is not always safe. Have your heating system maintenance done regularly to make sure it is safe. Fixing the common and uncommon emergency furnace issues 24/7 We are highly trained to deal with combustion issues that are not easily or safely done by homeowners. We go through your system checking for leaks, parts that are wearing out, testing & adjusting the fuel and boiler tank pressures correctly and making sure your system is safe to run. Most major issues with boilers and gas furnaces can be avoided with proper care and maintenance. We have professional technicians trained in combustion safety to make sure your system is running with peak performance and safety. Text or call us today to make an appointment to have your furnace or boiler maintenance done soon to avoid dangerous and costly situations with your system. Call or text us at any time, 24/7 if you have a heating or plumbing emergency and fill out this form for a maintenance request or if you have something odd going on with your heating system you'd like us to look at. Stay tuned for more about ventilation safety next time. Soon, we will discuss more boiler safety. Find out what makes a boiler an efficient heating system, and why you might want one in the future, if you don't have one now. Feel free to share this blog article with the world (or just on social media, and with family and friends). Thanks for reading. Stay safe!
- A maintenance visit has little to do with the filter. It is for safety and efficiency.
Now you might be thinking: I know how to change a filter, why do I need maintenance? My system runs fine! When our highly skilled technicians come for a regular maintenance appointment we are committed to thorough testing and maintenance of mechanical, performance, and safety systems. While a clean filter is very important to keep your family and your system safe, it is only one small part of keeping everything running great. Most HVAC manufacturers recommend yearly maintenance. We are going to discuss what is actually involved in your maintenance visit. (Don't know how or where to change your air filter for your air conditioner or furnace system? That's ok. We can help you choose the right type and we can show you how to replace it and when it should be replaced. Just let us know you need some help with that part.) We make sure your system is safe. That means you can live comfortably in your home and feel secure your system is in the best working condition for you and your family’s safety. But everything runs fine…it heats/cools my house That 'fine' running system doesn't always look so good on the inside. My furnace keeps me warm, my air conditioner keeps me cool, why do I need maintenance? Here's why: Even if your system is running fine, there is a possibility of a safety issue or efficiency issue that isn’t noticeable from the outside. We can diagnose and locate a lot of problems before they happen, while taking this in depth look into your system. Wouldn’t you like to save yourself costly repairs in the future? Wouldn’t you like the peace of mind you and your family can sleep safely knowing your system is safe? Other common concerns are: It's only been one season since my air conditioner or furnace was installed. or My system was just installed last year. I don't need maintenance yet. You wouldn’t want to drive your car 100,000 miles before an oil change, would you? No! That would be like running your HVAC, air conditioner, furnace, or boiler more than one season. So many things can be prevented with a quick regular maintenance appointment. Perhaps this is your situation: I don't need maintenance because I just had a service call on my system for an issue it had. Or maybe you're wondering, What is the difference between a service call and a maintenance call? If you just had a service call, that means something wasn't working right. Service calls happen because you had a problem. You definitely want a maintenance call as soon as possible after a service call, because if one or two things failed... more can, and soon. During the service call, problems are fixed The technician takes his time to diagnose the issue, Find out what caused that particular issue Look for some things in the immediate vicinity that could cause problems in the future, Fixing the problem they were called to fix and whatever they see is wrong in the vicinity, not the entire system, or possibly not parts behind or next to the problem area. During a maintenance call the technician inspects, cleans, tests and fixes problems before they start. Maintenance appointments usually last 1-2 hours unless some problem that needs attention needs more time. Just a glance at some of the many important items done in a maintenance call are: Combustion testing Air quality and air flow testing Carbon monoxide management tests Air flow management Cleaning and maintenance on crucial components for maximum safety and efficiency Fixing current problems and future problems. If we see a failed component, or component that is going to fail soon, we will inform you: Which service repair needs done What can happen without the repair and Let you know if you need to schedule a time to fix the issue if a part needs to be ordered, or if we can take care of it at the moment What it will cost for the repair, so you can make an informed decision on the repair needed My utility Bill keeps going up, more than just the standard increases, it costs so much to run the heat/air. Tiny inconveniences, bigger problems, & bigger monthly utility bills, that is why a maintenance call is so important. But I can't afford a maintenance visit! We want to make sure you’re not overpaying on your utility bills by performing high efficiency maintenance. Boosting your efficiency means lower utilities to run those systems. Saving you money long term. If you can think of a room that has ductwork going to it, that is not as comfortable as the other rooms in your house (too hot or too cold) that means your system is not running as efficiently as it could be. This can cost you extra money in utility bills every month this issue goes unresolved. Is your furnace or air conditioner (depending on season) running constantly, or for more than 15-20 minutes at a time? That is a sign there is definitely a problem and it should be looked at right away to save you money and to be sure your system is safe. Some safety issues can be prevented. If the problem is found soon enough before symptoms start, it can keep that and more problems from happening. Get it inspected soon to stay safe. We don't get rich off of maintenance calls. In fact, they are one of the least profitable things we do. We are trying to keep you safe and save you money. That is why this is so important. We do offer financing for many of the services we offer, you can ask about that when you schedule. By the way, have you had any strange noises or smells lately? Call us today and get that system checked for any safety repairs that need done immediately and get that maintenance done to keep it safe. How do I request a maintenance visit? Here is how you can schedule today... To schedule maintenance, you can use our service request form, in the description of the problem just let us know you want a maintenance visit and let us know if your experiencing any of the issues we listed, or if there is something going on we didn't cover. It only takes a minute. Get your maintenance done now to save you money in the future and keep your family safe. Is this going to take all day? I don't have time for this. Nope. It is usually pretty quick. Maintenance appointments usually last 1-2 hours unless some problem that needs attention needs more time. Here's the link to schedule. Let's get your system in good shape. Ok, I'm ready to schedule! Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Subscribe to our newsletter for great updates, specials and more Still here? What can we help you with? I need more information. or I have some questions. Feel free to contact us during our regular business hours 8am -4pm M-F text us at (507)-251-1539 or (320) 364-0751 Prefer to call? you can call us at those numbers, too. Visit us on the web at https://phoenixHVACMN.com Visit us on Facebook If you have any general comments or have something else to share that is not related to requests for service or maintenance, please let us know at marketing@phoenixHVACMN.com. We welcome your input. We may open comments on this post and others in the future. If you are interested in this feature, let us know at Marketing@PhoenixHVACMN.com. Thanks for stopping by!
- Radiant In-Floor Heating
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- Gas Furnaces
< Back Gas Furnaces Gas furnace care and installation by combustion safety pros Your collection is already set up for you with fields and content. Add your own, or import content from a CSV file. Add fields for any type of content you want to display, such as rich text, images, videos and more. You can also collect and store information from your site visitors using input elements like custom forms and fields. Be sure to click Sync after making changes in a collection, so visitors can see your newest content on your live site. Preview your site to check that all your elements are displaying content from the right collection fields. Previous Next
- Forced Air
< Back Forced Air Forced air heating This is placeholder text. To change this content, double-click on the element and click Change Content. Want to view and manage all your collections? Click on the Content Manager button in the Add panel on the left. Here, you can make changes to your content, add new fields, create dynamic pages and more. You can create as many collections as you need. Your collection is already set up for you with fields and content. Add your own, or import content from a CSV file. Add fields for any type of content you want to display, such as rich text, images, videos and more. You can also collect and store information from your site visitors using input elements like custom forms and fields. Be sure to click Sync after making changes in a collection, so visitors can see your newest content on your live site. Preview your site to check that all your elements are displaying content from the right collection fields. Previous Next