When we service open-flued gas heaters (such as wall furnaces, space heaters, console heaters), we need to conduct a negative draw test as part of the service and safety check. This can be done with the smoke created from incense, as shown here. It's not Michael getting 'all hippy' as was asked recently when he whipped out the musk fragrance. Although, hey, nothing wrong with hippy!
Negative pressure can occur when there isn’t enough ventilation in the home and an exhaust fan or rangehood is operating.
The exhaust fan or rangehood draws air from any external opening in the house, including from a gas appliance flue or chimney. This creates a problem with the operation of the heater, and particularly a faulty one, because it means that carbon monoxide can be drawn into living spaces via the gas appliance flue or chimney.
So, what can we do to help resolve negative pressure?
The following information from Energy Safe Victoria offers some steps to help keep you safe:
• Get your gas heater serviced once every two years: to ensure your heater runs safely and efficiently, and includes a check for negative pressure by your gas plumber.
• Don’t operate exhaust fans at the same time as your heater: your rangehood, toilet or bathroom fan can create a ‘negative pressure’ effect, drawing carbon monoxide into living areas.
• Ensure you have adequate ventilation: while it’s not necessary to have windows and doors wide open on a freezing cold day, ventilation is important to ensure carbon monoxide isn’t drawn into a living space.
• Don’t leave your gas heater on all night: Don’t leave the heater on for extended periods or when you don’t need it.
• Consider installing back-up measures such as a carbon monoxide alarm: Carbon monoxide alarms can be a useful back-up precaution, but should not be considered a substitute for the proper installation and maintenance of gas heating appliances.
• Never use your outdoor heating appliances indoors: Outdoor heaters, such as patio heaters, barbecues, coal heaters and fire pits release carbon monoxide into the surrounding atmosphere. Carbon monoxide is lighter than air and can disperse more readily outdoors, but can be fatal if used indoors.
Play it safe with gas.
Tomlinson Plumbing has the experience and expertise to help you with the installation, service, carbon monoxide testing and repair of all types of gas heaters in Geelong, Torquay, Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and surrounding areas.
We can assist with Bonaire, Braemar, Brivis, Cannon, Escea, Heat & Glo, Jetmaster, Real Flame, Regency, Rinnai, Vulcan & more.
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