Carbon Monoxide is the #1 cause of poisonings in the U.S., Yet less than 5% of all C.O. Poisonings are reported! The safe and efficient operation of your heating equipment and other combustion appliances cannot be determined without testing using a calibrated combustion analyzer. Because the technology, instruments, and training to do this testing correctly has only been available for a few years, odds are it's never been done. Your service technician should be certified to properly test and diagnose potential C.O. exposure.
Even in small quantities, carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems, particularly in children and the elderly. Millions of unsuspecting homeowners are exposed to low levels of C.O. and don't even know it. Unfortunately, U.L. Listed CO alarms don't go off until your family has been exposed to 70ppm (parts per million) for over 3-1/2 hours! Most international limits for unsafe levels, including OSHA and the World Health Organization's guidelines, are between 15-35 ppm.
Carbon monoxide can come from additional sources besides your heating equipment, and they should be checked. These sources include your Water Heater, Gas Range, Gas Logs, Space Heater, and Boiler - even an attached garage. Even new equipment needs to be tested. Anytime equipment is installed, it's exposed to conditions in which it has never been tested to perform.
Venting systems, combustion air, duct systems, additional appliances in the building, building pressure, etc., can all affect its operation. Besides that, after leaving the factory, your equipment has likely been loaded and unloaded on trucks and transported several times. Vibration and shock can cause components to shift and move. The only way to know if your new equipment is operating safely and efficiently is to test it once installed.
Better contractors don't guess.
They measure. If CO testing is part of your contractor's standard protocols, he will advise you before servicing or installing equipment. Odds are, when the tech walks into your house, he'll be carrying some C.O. Monitor to check if unsafe C.O. levels are present immediately. When working on the equipment, he will likely drill a hole in the appliance's flue and insert the probe of an electronic combustion analyzer to check actual burner performance. Additional performance testing might also require holes to be drilled into the ductwork. Once he's finished testing, he should provide documentation and review his results with you.
Carbon monoxide test in Columbus. C.O. home testing in Columbus.
As a consumer, you should expect your contractor to be trained in current technology to ensure your heating system is safe, comfortable, and efficient. These are probably things you may wish to be mandatory, but unfortunately, they're not.
His extensive training and knowledge are one benefit of having an NCI Certified CO/Combustion Analyst test your home and appliances for carbon monoxide.
Your contractor should be trained to measure all your combustion equipment's safety and efficiency, even devices like ovens and water heaters that he doesn't usually sell or service.
Thorough testing can verify that your system operates at peak efficiency and provides the lowest operating costs.
Finally, he should provide you with documentation that explains what he has found and what corrections have been or need to be performed. He should also provide you with material to educate you about carbon monoxide sources and health effects.