Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Well it sure is getting cold and wet outside which means that heating season is here to stay for a while. One item that we do not like to hear about during our winter months is “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning”, yikes!

 

Did you know that carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States? This odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas is known as the “Silent Killer.” The Centers for Disease Control estimates that carbon monoxide poisoning claims nearly 500 lives annually. Unfortunately here in Kansas City we will hear about a few cases of CO poisoning via our local news channels. In my opinion the news should be covering how to prevent CO poisoning from happening rather than wait for the big “Crisis Moment” to report on it. Many of the deaths can be eliminated by knowing what to look for in the early stages of the poisoning (we have actually saved a few lives here at Envirotech Heating and Cooling by educating our customers on the symptoms). The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, nausea, and fatigue and are often mistaken for the flu because the deadly gas goes undetected in a home. 

 

Even though the furnace (that heats your home) can be a main cause of poisoning, it is not the only item in which this danger can exist. Carbon Monoxide is caused by incomplete combustion of fuel, so with that in mind anything that burns fuel from a match, vehicle, stove, furnace, snow blower and so on has the ability to produce dangerous CO. One of the best pieces of protection is to install a good carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, the detectors are generally good for 5yrs and then they need to be replaced. If your CO detector alarms you should immediately evacuate the house and contact the fire department. In addition we recommend that you have your home heating system cleaned and tested annually by a qualified technician. A few more common causes of poisoning are: allowing your vehicle to run or warm-up in the garage (even with the door open), burning charcoal inside your house (even in the fireplace), operating a gasoline-powered generator in confined areas such as garages or basements and working on any gas tool (snow blower or lawnmower) in a confined area.

 

Thanks for reading and please share this with as many of your friends and family as you wish. If you need more information on CO poisoning, symptoms and prevention please visit www.epa.gov

 

Sincerely,

James Gallet

President, Envirotech Heating & Cooling, ShawneeKansas.

Do You Haul Off My Old Stuff When You Are Replacing My System?

ImageDo you haul off my old stuff when you are replacing my system?

This is a question I get all the time when I am talking with homeowners about replacing their heating and cooling equipment. The short answer is “Yes We DO”; however I thought I would kind of run you through the process involved in “hauling it off”.

 First of all if we are removing your air conditioning unit, we must first remove the refrigerant or “Freon” in the system. We do this by using a recovery machine and pulling it out of the air condition unit and pump it into a 30lb reclaim cylinder. Once the “Freon” is removed and all of the old equipment, material and scrap are loaded on our vans we haul all of this back to our warehouse. 

 At the warehouse we have a rack full of empty 30lb reclaim cylinders. Once we fill up a 30lb cylinder we swap it out for an empty one on the rack. The full cylinders are emptied into a large 325lb tank which will eventually be sent back to the manufacture for recycling and then the empty cylinder is placed on the empty rack to be reused. We then take the air conditioning units and separate the copper, refrigerant lines, coils and motors and store them in our warehouse. We will eventually haul these into the recycling center ourselves. All of the scrap metal, furnaces, steel and other recyclable material is then picked up by a “junk man” or scrap metal dealer. He will take this in to the recycle center himself. From time to time we will just give everything to the scrap dealer however with the recent increase in copper theft and coils there have been many laws passed and this has made it difficult for the legitimate scrappers.

 The trash is then gone through to make sure we didn’t miss anything that is recyclable. All of our cardboard, wood, plastic, paper, etc is hauled off on a regular basis to a local recycle bin and the remainder is deposited in the dumpster.

 So the short answer is: Yes we haul it off and take care of the mess for you, however the long answer is that there is a lot of work involved in making sure the recycle process is followed and we are not just wasting valuable space in our local landfills.