Editor’s note: The following remarks were made regarding the editorial, “HVAC Contractors Can Warn Consumers About CO Risks in Equipment,” written by Ron Rajecki, refrigeration editor, The NEWS, published Feb. 5.
CONTRACTORS SHOULD SAVE LIVES
I read the recent article titled “HVAC Contractors Can Warn Consumers About CO Risks.” It is certainly a topic that is a must in this industry. However, when I read the article, there were a few things I felt needed to be addressed or commented on.
First, a little snapshot of my background to help you understand why I feel qualified to respond. I spent 46 years in the industry. I was retired but will be getting back into it. During my time in field service, I had to go to a house where a high-efficiency furnace had been installed wrong and almost killed a little boy, so this topic resonates with me.
In the article title, I feel that it may have been stronger if the word, “should,” had been used instead of “can.” The subject is very important, and where there is any opportunity for an issue, it should be made part of the checklist for every manufacturer’s installation literature and the installing contractor’s customer review process.
I feel the risk is not isolated to only the heating months. In many parts of the country, people will also start their cars to let them cool down when it is hot and humid as well. CO does not care what season or time of the year it is. This issue or concern is not isolated to just the southern states. The air that is a concern is not the combustion air. The HVAC system can also suck air into the main blower or return air stream from the surrounding atmosphere. This is where the concern is really centered. If the air was only going to the combustion side, it would not be an issue.
Over the years, this industry has also done a nice job of promoting outside air technology. This has many positives but can become an issue if the inlet is located too close to where vehicles may be running. If the CO-laden air gets sucked into the outside air inlet, it has a direct line into the inhabited space.
Again, I feel this is an important topic, but one that needs more attention at several levels and for many products. It is my hope manufacturers will pick up the knowledge from this type of article and respond accordingly in their literature and training. This may be a great marketing opportunity for our industry. Perhaps one of the industry associations or some of the manufacturers may create some consumer awareness ads or articles to help educate the consumers. A dealer may also take some initiative and do this on their own.
Elmwood Comfort Concepts LLC