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Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

relaxing by fireplaceThe seasons have changed and cold weather is here to stay. Are you ready?

Here in California we’re used to mild winters, but so far this one is been pretty chilly. Thanksgiving was the coldest on record, and the snow on the mountains doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. What does that mean for your building?

Most heating systems in California rely on natural gas as a clean, efficient fuel. We have some of the highest electric rates in the nation, but we get a pretty good rate on our gas bills. That’s the good news.

But natural gas as a fuel presents some special problems that electricity doesn’t offer. Natural gas combusts. That presents a fire hazard if heating systems are in poor condition, and it presents a safety problem if the combustion gases aren’t properly vented outside. Products of natural gas combustion can include nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, both of which are hazardous to your health. Carbon monoxide, which is colorless and odorless, can be fatal. And if you have forklifts in your warehouse, or trucks that idle there while loading and unloading, a leaky duct system can pull carbon monoxide from your warehouse into your offices, putting your staff at risk.

Have your heating systems been inspected since last winter? Have the heat exchangers been checked for soundness, and the venting on the combustion systems tested for proper operation? Is the gas pressure to the heater within manufacturer limits, or can it be overfiring, resulting in a potential flame hazard?

Now is the time to have the heating systems in your building checked. Overfired systems waste energy as well as offering a fire danger. If your building relies on electric-powered heat pumps, the potential for wasted energy is even greater. With our local, very expensive electric rates, you want to make especially sure those heat pumps are cleaned, tuned, and doing their very best to keep your staff comfy without driving you to the poor house.