Exhaust Vents & Air Quality in Calgary

Your gas heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system requires two airflows – one that warms and circulates the air in your home and a separate contained exhaust vent pipe or flue that sends the gaseous by-products of combustion to the outdoors.

The chief concern is with the “gaseous by-products of combustion”, namely carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless, and deadly gas that is present whenever fuel is burned. Common home appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, gas clothes dryers, gas ranges, gas water heaters or space heaters, fireplaces, and wood burning stoves produce carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is attracted to the hemoglobin in your bloodstream, replacing the oxygen in your hemoglobin that cells need to function, when breathed in with this poison. Carbon monoxide rapidly accumulates in the blood, causing symptoms similar to the flu, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability. As levels increase, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and eventually brain damage or death can result.

Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, however, individuals with greater oxygen requirements such as unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens, and people with coronary or respiratory problems are at greater risk. If you have questions about carbon monoxide and indoor air quality in Calgary, contact your local gas utility, or a qualified heating contractor like ours at Just in Time Furnace Inc.

Routine maintenance will address mechanical failures in your furnace’s combustion chamber. You need to ensure that the chimney exhaust flue remains clear at all times. Depending on the type of furnace, venting takes place through a plastic pipe on the outside of the house or through the chimney.

Because of the warm air, birds will sometime attempt to nest atop of your chimney exhaust flue, either causing a blockage, or being overcome by the fumes and falling in. Either way your chimney is blocked, creating a fire and carbon monoxide hazard for your family. To prevent debris from getting into your chimney exhaust flue, ensure it is covered with 1/2-in. mesh hardware cloth or appropriate chimney cap. In the fall, clear away leaves and debris, making sure nothing is blocking the intake or exhaust vents.

Here are a few tips to keep you alert:

  • Consult your furnace’s owner’s manual before cleaning and clearing. Improper cleaning may void the warranty.
  • Create a schedule to ensure that you are checking the exhaust vent on a regular basis. Include a list of items to watch for to make the job easier.
  • Don’t stick anything into the exhaust vent. It may get stuck and cause a blockage.

Air Quality in Calgary

For any furnaces or HVAC services you need for your home or business, call Just in Time Furnace Inc. at 403-333-6666 today in Calgary for expert service and great values.

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