Exceeding Industry Standards for Carbon Monoxide Testing
In its most recent Carbon Monoxide and Combustion Analysis Certification Exam, the National Comfort Institute (NCI) identified Corcoran Heating as a re-certified Carbon Monoxide and Combustion Analyst.
After recently completing rigorous training, Corcoran technicians rank among the top of an elite group of roughly 2,000 certified CO/Combustion Analysts throughout the world. While some technicians are only taught the basics of checking for high CO, a Certified Analyst follows a rigorous national protocol for carbon monoxide testing on all fuel-burning appliances in homes and businesses.
But that’s only the beginning. Certified technicians must also pass a hands-on and written exam that gauges their ability to diagnose and solve the real causes of carbon monoxide in indoor environments.
“Our number one priority is customer safety,” says owner Tom Corcoran. “After this training, we truly understand how to properly identify and fix potentially deadly CO conditions, and how to keep them from occurring in the first place. We have the tools and know-how to optimize furnace and boiler performance, allowing systems to operate at peak efficiency. This can save homeowners and businesses hundreds, sometimes thousands, in energy bills.”
The Truth About Carbon Monoxide
Contrary to popular myth, cracked heat exchangers and birds nests in chimney flues are rarely the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. More often, CO is produced as a result of improper system design, installation, and maintenance. To identify and fix the real causes of CO production, all combustion appliances must be tested using highly accurate instruments. These solutions often require flue and combustion air modifications and repairs.
Many Americans are exposed to high and low levels of carbon monoxide every day, yet the problems often go undetected. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can occur at levels as low as 10 ppm (parts per million) of CO, and is often manifested in flu-like symptoms, including headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, and shortness of breath. It has also been linked to long-term health problems, including chemical hypersensitivity, Parkinson’s disease, and more. At a recent international symposium on SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), medical researchers unveiled significant evidence of links between low-level CO and infant mortality.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
Besides getting your home checked thoroughly by a certified CO analyst, the National Comfort Institute recommends installing one or more Low-level Carbon Monoxide Monitors in your home or office. These professional-grade monitors, which notify you of CO levels over 9 ppm, are only sold through certified contractors like Corcoran Heating & Air Conditioning.
NCI Chairman/CEO Dominick Guarino and President Rob Falke founded the certifying organization in 1995. To date, the organization has trained and certified more than 6,000 industry professionals in a variety of disciplines, including system diagnostics and design, indoor air quality, air balancing, carbon monoxide analysis, and combustion efficiency.
Suspect Carbon Monoxide?
- Exit the home, leaving the door open to assist with fresh air.
- Call 911 to have your home verified for safety.
- Contact us to review the fire department’s findings and to discuss solutions.
- If you suspect poisoning, you can request a blood test at a doctor’s office or hospital. Be sure to mention it to your medical professional, as it is not a regularly used test. This ensures that symptoms are not simply confused as the flu virus.
- Note: Some store-bought monitors will indicate if batteries are low. Consult the owner’s manual for specifics, but typically batteries should be replaced every 6 months.
Included In Our Testing:
- Full testing with every HVAC service or maintenance call.
- Testing of exhaust draft of furnace, boiler, water heater, and commercial kitchen equipment.
- Monitoring fuel burning of HVAC equipment.
- Burner performance maximization.
- Verification that system is burning safely and efficiently.
Tips For Staying Safe
- Move the car outside of the garage before warming it up. Carbon Monoxide gas created by your car can be deadly.
- Don’t heat the house with gas ovens. Ovens can produce high levels of Carbon Monoxide when the doors are left open.
- Check furnaces and water heaters to be sure the flues haven’t been damaged or disconnected.
- Verify that the flue is open when using the fireplace.
- Keep areas around combustion appliances clear to avoid blocking combustion air from entering the room.
- Never burn charcoal or gas grills indoors – even in the garage.
- Don’t use unvented kerosene or gas space heaters indoors for long periods of time.
- Ensure that all combustion appliances are serviced annually by an NCI CO and Combustion certified technician.
- Do not start a lawnmower or other gas-powered garden appliances in a garage or shed.
- Remain aware of CO poisoning symptoms, and act immediately if any are realized.
- Have low-level CO monitors installed to protect you from low-level CO poisoning.
24/7 Live Air Monitoring
At Corcoran, we’re proud to introduce the latest low-level monitoring system on the market. Protect your family above and beyond minimal unsafe UL standards, with an industry-exclusive carbon monoxide monitor not found in stores.
What store-bought Carbon Monoxide Alarms don’t want you to know:
- The difference between low-level CO monitors and store-bought CO alarms could be critical to your family’s health and safety.
- Store-bought detectors don’t alarm you until unsafe levels of 70 ppm or higher of CO are present at the unit for 3-1/2 hours! By then, it may be too late.
- Standard alarms provide infants, children, seniors, and persons with respiratory or heart ailments with little or no protection from deadly CO.
- Long-term exposure to low-level CO above 15 ppm can cause illness and even permanent disabilities.
- Plug-in models don’t work during power outages.
Main Safety Differences
- Conforms with Illinois State Law requiring a monitor in every home
- Continuous Scan mode lets you know monitor is checking for CO – 24/7
- Digital display shows CO levels of 5 ppm or higher
- Low alarm – 15 ppm – audible and visual every 8 seconds
- High alarm – 35 ppm – audible and visual every 4 seconds
- Crisis alarm – 70+ ppm – audible and visual every 2 seconds
- Replaceable 9V battery ensures operation even when power is out
- Trusted in our own homes and office
- FREE to you with the purchase of a complete system (ask for details and restrictions)
- 5-year limited warranty
Solutions For Your Safety:
Barometric Flue Dampers
Barometric Flue Dampers connect the appliance directly to the chimneys to assist and prove draft of natural or combustion fan drafted equipment. In most cases, this eliminates the need for an expensive chimney liner. If the exhaust pipe creates a negative pressure and causes a fire risk, the dampers, interlocked with system burners, will automatically shut off the unit.
Flue Pipe Exhaust Boosters
Exhaust Boosters are power-assisted combustion paddle fans that mechanically assist with positive drafting pressure. Typically used to assist in more extreme negative cases, they are often used in commercial applications or homes with multiple heating or water heating appliances sharing a chimney.
Fresh Air Combustion Dampers
Fresh Air Combustion Dampers directly add fresh air from outside into the return of the mechanical equipment. Used to help offset tightly constructed homes, this equipment assists with home ventilation and equipment drafting. The damper can be set to close in certain instances of extreme temperature or humidity level set points.
Fresh Air Combustion Fans
A fresh Air Combustion Fan - also known as a “fan-in-a-can” - interlocks with the furnace, water heater, and/or boiler. When one of these units overheats or becomes a fire hazard, the fan is engaged to mechanically introduce fresh air from outside. This solution precisely proves the exact BTU rating or CFM requirement of the installed fuel burning appliance, and provides optimal fresh air for system fuel burning requirements.
Heat Recovery Ventilators
Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) are typically installed as a functional bath exhaust fan to exhaust stale air outside, while mechanically bringing in fresh air from outside. HRVs recycle up to 80% of the heat being exhausted from the house, helping to offset pressure from the existing furnace’s rated performance.
Make-Up Air Units
Make-Up Air Units (MAUs) are used in larger applications, such as commercial kitchens and buildings. This equipment is designed and installed to maintain a balance of fresh outside air while keeping appliance temperatures from overheating. These systems are designed to meet specific CFM needs. Each building and situation can be specifically engineered to ensure proper building pressures and overall comfort.