Your heating system might be trying to kill you.
Furnaces and boilers can be terrible. They can also be necessary. Alternative heating options are available and becoming more and more affordable and popular, but furnace and boiler heating are easily the two most common types, particularly in the WNY area.
The life expectancy of a furnace or boiler is 15-30 years. These are examples of depreciating assets, because from the moment they’re installed they begin to lose efficiency. They peak at just above 90%.
If you use a boiler to heat your home, frozen pipes are a major concern in the cold winters. Boilers must always maintain a minimum temperature to prevent this. That sounds do-able, but what if your boiler breaks or malfunctions? What if it breaks or malfunctions in the middle of a Buffalo snowstorm?
Since both furnaces and boilers rely on combustion to produce heat, carbon monoxide leaks are a risk that cannot be ignored. If you rent your home or serve as a landlord, you’re aware that providing carbon monoxide detectors is absolutely, 100% required by NYS law. If you own your home, you’re not as bound by the state to make sure your own home is safe. While this leaves you free to plug power strips into power strips into power strips and to ignore the lamp that sparks and shocks you every time you plug it in, it also leaves you at your own mercy when it comes to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Annually, carbon monoxide kills 200 people a year. In the Buffalo area, police respond to about 20 calls each winter season regarding carbon monoxide issues. Those numbers might seem pretty low for something we’re telling you is incredibly dangerous and deadly. But it’s also something that is pretty preventable. If there were basic concrete safety measures that could be taken to prevent you from being attacked by a shark (aside from just “not swimming in the ocean”), chances are most people would take them. Maybe shark repellent. Or personal radar that detects sharks when they’re within 25 feet of you. And U.S. sharks only kill about four people per year (FYI, none of them are in NY). Four out of approximately 200 million beach-goers.
“But Capital Heat! What can we do? I don’t want to die of carbon monoxide poisoning!” We’re glad you asked, because we also don’t want you to die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Did you know that you’re supposed to have your furnace or boiler serviced every year?
Not only will this keep your essential depreciating asset from depreciating so quickly, it will also make sure that any problems are (hopefully) caught early. It can make sure small leaks don’t turn into big ones. It can mean parts at the end of their lives are replaced before they kick the bucket. It can mean filters are cleaned and replaced. It could mean you don’t lose heat on Christmas Eve, causing Santa to not stop at your house because “it’s colder than the North Pole in there!”
The best time to have your furnace serviced is in the summer. Why? First, you want to solve problems before they disrupt your life, not after they already have. Second, heating and cooling companies like Capital Heat have a whole lot more time then because we aren’t inundated with calls from people who ignored us and then had their furnace malfunction on Christmas Eve and need our help immediately.
But, if you haven’t already made a habit of this, it’s never too late. The time to service your furnace or boiler is before it breaks. If it’s not broken now and you can’t remember the last time you had an expert come check it over, call now! We might not get there tomorrow, but the good news is – it’s not an emergency! And this is the reason to have your furnace or boiler checked: to prevent emergencies.
Oh, and by the way – if this all sounds too scary and like too many consequences and too much work, Capital Heat offers a really awesome alternative that won’t silently kill you while you sleep and will save you a whole bunch of money on your heating bills each month while not burning through fossil fuels in the process. It’s called Geothermal Heating, and we highly recommend it. We also install it and would love to give you more information on it.