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Call Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical at 818-780-0701
The fall weather has arrived in Southern California, and it’s even brought along some welcome rain. This might be the first time you’ve turned on your home’s furnace since the beginning of the year to keep your family warm. It’s therefore a good time to go over some reminders about furnace safety so you can enjoy a worry-free winter.
Gas furnaces are, in general, safe to have in your home
This first safety reminder is a positive one: gas furnaces aren’t inherently dangerous appliances that create safety risks for a home. We don’t wish to discourage people from using one because as long as you follow basic precautions, a gas furnace is one of the best and most reliable ways to heat your home.
If you do an online search on electric furnaces, you’ll find this question often pops up: “Do electric furnaces create carbon monoxide?” That people are asking this shows that many homeowners are unaware of the important basics of how different types of furnaces run. We want to clear up some of these misunderstandings and address the broader question of whether or not an electric furnace is a far safer choice than a natural gas furnace for home heating.
One of the difficulties we often find with furnaces is that people in Southern California simply aren’t familiar enough with them. This means many homeowners can fall prey to bad advice coming from websites, friends, and unscrupulous and unprofessional contractors. We want to clear up and correct some of this terrible advice about furnaces to help you better understand your furnace. This will aid you when you’re looking for heating repair in Van Nuys, CA or if you’re considering having a furnace installed, either as the first heater for a home or a heating replacement.
GREAT NEWS! Your family does NOT have to be test subjects for the nation after all. American Standard, the #1 most reliable brand of furnaces, has received a Variance from the government’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) ultra-low-Nox Furnace Rule 1111.
If you need a new Furnace but are worried about the high-temperature flame technology in the newly released ultra-low-Nox furnaces we’ve got you covered with the most reliably tested energy-efficient furnaces available in the San Fernando Valley. That’s correct! The #1 brand of heating equipment has received a variance from the South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1111 and we are able to sell and install the excellent American Standard equipment we have been installing for years without issues or problems.
Let us give you some background information regarding the new furnace regulations passed in Los Angeles County and a few surrounding areas: In order to improve air quality in our communities SCAQMD mandated that furnaces sold in our community needed to reduce Nox Gas emissions from 40 ng/j to 14 ng/j. You don’t have to understand the technology to see that reducing anything by more than 2/3 is a tall order. You may be ready for a flying car, but mandating that one be built by a certain date doesn’t mean the technology will be ready for you 🙂
For the past 10 years world-wide HVAC equipment manufacturers have toiled with inventing new technology for our relatively small community. Keep in mind this regulation, known as Rule 1111, doesn’t apply to any other State in the nation, it doesn’t even apply to San Diego or Ventura County. It is strictly a regulation on furnaces sold in Los Angeles County and some surrounding areas.
In order to comply with Rule 1111 manufacturers vastly increased the flame temperature in the furnace to burn up more Nox gas faster. To keep customers safe from the new furnaces over heating manufacturers changed the installation requirements to require more empty space around the furnace.
Frankly, this whole Rule 1111 makes us nervous. We remember in 2000, when a catastrophe hit the heating and air conditioning industry; Reports of 50 house fires caused the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall 110,000 technologically flawed furnaces. The flawed technology was made by a company named Premier Consolidated. Many flawed furnaces were already installed in people’s homes. People were forced to be without heat while emergency services attempted to solve the problem
Premier Consolidated has long since gone bankrupt but the flawed technology and subsequent furnace recall hurt people.
We are cautious by nature and SAFETY has always been our number one priority. Our fear is that Rule 1111 is forcing manufacturers to release furnaces containing inadequately tested technology into the market place. We would not install one of these new furnaces in our home and we don’t want our customers to be test subjects for the rest of the nation.
We are big environmentalists and are proud to be on the front lines in the fight to save our planet! In fact, we install many heat pump heating systems, which are completely electric and an excellent choice for reducing the carbon footprint of your home.
We don’t know how long the Rule 1111 Variance will last but this is something we fought for and we are thrilled to offer as a reliably safe gas furnace option to our customers!
If you are interested in learning more and discovering the best system for your home please call 818-780-0701 to set up a FREE in home estimate.
Dean and Lisa Gilford
Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical chooses to sell American Standard brand heating and air-conditioning, the #1 most reliable manufacturer year after year. Although we have installed every other brand we find American Standard to be the most dependable.
If you live in Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley the answer to this frequently asked question is likely to be a resounding YES! Heat pump heating and air conditioning technology is safe, effective and an excellent way to reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
HOW DOES A HEAT PUMP WORK?
Think of a heat pump as a heat courier constantly moving hot air from one place to another. From where it’s not needed to where it is needed.
“But what if it’s cold outside?” You may ask, “How does a heat pump work in the winter?” Even when air seems uncomfortably cold, heat energy is still present. When it’s cold outside a heat pump is able to extract outside heat and transfer it inside. In the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles there is enough heat hanging around outside of your house to heat your whole home! A heat pump is the perfect energy efficient technology to heat indoor air in our climate.
Conversely, when it’s hot outside, a heat pump reverses direction and acts as an air conditioner, removing heat from your home and dumping it outside.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HEAT PUMP AND A FURNACE?
The main difference between the two is how they create heat. A heat pump uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. A furnace burns fuel to create heat.
Los Angeles is moving away from natural gas appliances including furnaces. Not only will you feel good knowing that you are using the most environmentally friendly HVAC option, but a heat pump will put you ahead as gas prices ramp up in expectation of the phase out.
The usual place you’ll find furnaces in homes across the U.S. is the basement. But in Southern California, basements are extremely rare, so most homes have floor furnaces (a.k.a. closet furnaces) instead. But this isn’t the only place that you can have a furnace to keep your home warm. A furnace can be relocated from the closet into the attic. If you’re thinking of doing this, we recommend you give our technicians a call. They can give you advice about whether this is a good step or not, since the situation is different for every home.
Los Angeles enjoys some of the finest weather in the world. Right now, even though it’s late in October, we’re experiencing warm temperatures and clear days. However, this pleasant weather won’t last forever, and we may be due for some intense rainy periods in the coming months. If you have a furnace in your home, you need to make sure that all of its components are fine-tuned to handle the work it may need to do to keep your home comfortable.
Furnaces generate a great deal of heat, but part of producing this heat involves the creation of noxious fumes. These fumes need to be vented safely from your home, and the way to do this is via an exhaust flue. An exhaust flue that is improperly installed can be very dangerous, which is why it’s important to hire professionals for any kind of heating work you may need. Kilowatt has been serving the Los Angeles area for over 20 years, and our trained technicians can handle any heating issue you may have, so call us today.
Removing the Noxious Gases
The component responsible for the warm air that blows into your home is the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a metal tube that is open at both ends. Air is heated, and during this process, noxious gasses such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, are created and trapped in the inner part of the tube. These gasses are vented directly out of the tube into the flue, where they can be safely expelled from your home.
Common Problems with Exhaust Flues
As with any other component of your heating system, your exhaust flue can develop some problems:
Backdrafting – this is one of the more serious problems that can develop with your flue. Backdrafting refers to a situation in which the exhaust fumes are sucked back into your furnace, where they can be blown into your living spaces. The main causes for backdrafting are negative indoor air pressure or problems with the exhaust fan.
Cracking – not only does the flue vent noxious fumes, it also removes small amounts of soot, and acidic water vapor can develop as the heated air cools. These things can lead to corrosion of the metal, which can cause the metal to crack.
Leaking between joints – the flue pipe has sections, and the area where the sections are joined is known as a joint. Joints can leak, which allows gasses to escape.
Your flue is an important part of your heating. If you suspect you may have a problem with it, call Kilowatt and schedule heating service in Los Angeles with one of our technicians.