Along with checking your roof repair, siding and window replacement needs for those of you that live here in Northwest Chicagoland area, it’s important to also inspect the venting of your home. See these helpful tips below that could save money and lives when followed.
It appears that most people only think of the heating or the air conditioning portion of the reports and ignore the venting portion, which can be the most important.
An improperly vented fossil fuel burning appliance can be deadly. The byproducts of combustion are carbon monoxide (C0) gas as well as other unpleasant gases and moisture. C0 is colorless, odorless and tasteless, but when the concentration of C0 is greater than one hundred parts per million (100 ppm), the C0 becomes toxic by combining with the body’s hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin in the blood, preventing the hemoglobin from releasing oxygen to the body’s tissues.
People exposed to low levels of C0 poisoning may suffer headaches and dizziness similar to the flu, but when the flu-like symptoms continue, it is very important to seek the advice of a doctor or other medical professional. Extended low-level exposure can be toxic to the heart, the nervous system and other vital organs. Exposure to high levels of C0 is deadly.
Everyone should have at least one C0 detector in each bedroom and another near the fuel-burning appliance or appliances. When in doubt about where to place a C0 detector, seek help from your local fire department or health officials. There are safety codes for installers to follow when venting flue gases, but I have also seen fire hazards caused by other installers’ carelessness with range hoods.
If the hood is non-venting or is a recirculating type unit, any experienced technician can install these units. It’s when the hood is designed to vent to the exterior that I find problems. Either the venting pipe ends in an attic or the hood vents into a wall cavity. A vented range hood must vent to the exterior all the way through the roof or through a sidewall.
Over time as the fan is used, grease will be pulled into the flue or cavity where it will accumulate, ready to fuel the first accidental range top fire, and it will blow like a torch through the wood structure of the home.
Also check the clothes dryer vent pipe from either a gas or electric dryer. The clothes dryer pipe must be a smooth-walled metal pipe where possible and vented to the exterior. Lint is highly flammable and is estimated to be responsible for over 100 injuries annually, resulting in at least five deaths and costing more than $35 million in damages.
Image sources: scuolacascia.it, eetd.lbl.gov, wikipedia.org, aliexpress.com, familyhandyman.com, getairductcleaning.com