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Ask about Premier HVAC Mechanical Corporation’s  Combustion/Carbon Monoxide Analysis Test

Why Is A Digital Combustion Analysis Test Important?

Making and interpreting measurements is a crucial part of any job involving service, installation, design verification, engineering, or factory support of HVAC/R equipment. When it comes to verifying proper operation of the installed equipment, it is critical that measurements made in the field are just as accurate as those made in the laboratory. Premier HVAC Mechanical Corporation has committed to ensuring that the equipment that we install or service is operating at peak performance levels for the benefit and safety of our customers.

Combustion analysis is only part of the equipment installation and commissioning procedure. A complete installation includes, but is not limited to, proper equipment selection and sizing, proper airflow and fuel pressure, verification of proper draft,  verification of proper operation of all limits and safeties as recommended by the manufacturer and as outlined in the International Fuel and Gas Code, and a final combustion analysis along with printed verification of the commissioning procedure. Premier  HVAC  Mechanical  Corporation’s new equipment installs will come with the Premier HVAC Comfort Maintenance Silver Plan and a complimentary Combustion Analysis to ensure proper combustion for our customers’ peace of mind.

Safety Considerations: Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide is a pollutant that is readily absorbed in the body and can impair the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood (hemoglobin). Impairment of the body’s hemoglobin results in less oxygen to the brain, heart, and tissues. Even short-term over exposure to carbon monoxide can be critical or fatal to people with heart and lung diseases, the young or the elderly. It may also cause headaches, dizziness and other significant medical problems in healthy people.

In today’s equipment, high levels of carbon monoxide emissions primarily result from incomplete combustion due to poor firing conditions. Examples would include a cracked heat exchanger, improper air-to-fuel ratio or possibly a misaligned burner. Through proper burner maintenance, inspections, and operation, the formation of carbon monoxide can be controlled at an acceptable level. Upgrading equipment, performing regular inspections and combustion testing will also help keep the carbon monoxide levels under control. Obviously, no CO (0 ppm) is the best level in the home. This cannot always be achieved due to smokers in the home and/or appliances like stoves that produce acceptable levels of CO during operation. When CO is present in the home, the source should be determined and corrective action taken. The goal is to assure occupant safety and minimize the occupants’ exposure.

The Need to Test with Digital Instruments  

Only digital analyzers allow technicians to take real time tests. A real time test cannot be performed with a wet kit; it is physically impossible to take a sample and perform the slide rule calculation fast enough. Today, testing is not an option, but a necessity on every gas furnace. The truth is, digital instruments are faster, more accurate, more reliable, and have a higher repeatability than most analog tools. Digital instruments stay in calibration, allow trending, allow more complex functions and save time. Digital instruments allow data to be recorded and reported without human error, and provide reliable and accurate results. In most cases, the data is an un-editable record that shows the accurate measurements in the home. Permanent records allow Premier HVAC Mechanical Corporation and our customers to track system changes and determine if the system is operating within the design parameters or if changes have taken place.

Benefits of proper system setup through testing

  1. To verify the safety of the furnace, saves money and provides confidence
  2. To measure the combustion efficiency of the furnace
  3. To determine the amount of pollution the furnace is producing
  4. To review operation in conformance with the manufacturer’s guidelines
  5. To assess equipment longevity/warranty issues (eg. Improper fuel pressure or airflow settings may cause excessive CO production, or burned out heat exchangers, etc.)
  6. Maintains equipment warranty
  7. Provides increased comfort and less pollutants to the environment
  8. Increases energy efficiency

Combustion Safety Test Action Levels (Ambient Air)

1-9 ppm – Normal levels within the home. If there are no smokers, investigation is recommended. These levels will be measured above ambient levels in most cases because the CO instrument has been zeroed in outdoor air. 9 ppm is the maximum recommended level for 24 hours continuous exposure

10-35 ppm – Advise occupants, check for symptoms, (slight headache, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea or flu like symptoms.) check all unvented and vented appliances, including the furnace hot water tank and or boiler, check for other sources including attached garages or small engine operation

36-99 ppm – Recommend fresh air, check for symptoms, ventilate the space, recommend medical attention

100+ ppm – Evacuate the home (including yourself!) and contact emergency medical services (911). Do not attempt to ventilate the space. Short-term exposure to these levels can cause permanent physical damage

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