Cinnaminson, NJ, February 25th, 2016
A residential or commercial property’s furnace provides a warm and comfortable indoor environment during the winter season. Like all systems in a home or building, a furnace requires preventive maintenance to ensure that it is working properly, efficiently and is providing good indoor air quality (IAQ).
In North America, a large percentage of homes rely on a central forced-air furnace that is powered by natural gas, fuel oil or electricity to heat air that is then transferred throughout the property through ducts. “A forced-air furnace that is not working properly could be wasting energy and even threatening the health of building occupants if combustion gases such as carbon monoxide are entering the indoor air,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “These types of furnaces can also cause indoor air quality issues by spreading particulates and even mold and other allergens throughout the home or building if the system’s air filtration is lacking or the ductwork is contaminated.”
To ensure the system is working properly, it is a good idea to have it checked annually by a qualified professional. The following furnace maintenance tips can help provide for a healthy home or building:
- Before the unit is serviced, it is important that any fuel supply and electricity to the unit is shut off.
- Furnace filters should be regularly changed. Filters may be located at the furnace or in the air supply return in a wall or ceiling. Some furnaces also have a fresh air intake filter.
- The air blower and motor housing should be inspected and cleaned.
- Units with a combustion chamber are checked for any buildup of soot and carbon that is then removed.
- The flue pipe is inspected for any holes, blockages and signs of corrosion. This is an important step to ensure deadly carbon monoxide is not a threat to building occupants.
- Furnaces powered by fuel oil should have their oil filter replaced.
- A service technician will often use a combustion analyzer to determine the unit’s efficiency and make any needed adjustments.
- Finally, the ductwork should be inspected for dust, debris and other materials that could reduce the system’s efficiency and impact air quality.
People who suspect their furnace may be causing indoor air quality issues can turn to the building science experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL offers testing services for mold and allergens along with field instrumentation to identify potential air quality concerns through the use of particle counters and carbon monoxide sensors. They also provide boroscopes that can be instrumental for checking ductwork and other hard to view places. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about furnace maintenance and indoor air quality issues that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/j3NKuIkgdMY.
To learn more about indoor air quality testing services and monitoring equipment or other environmental, health, safety and occupational issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.