In the ongoing effort to keep our customers informed of Oregon code changes and system enhancement products, we have listed several items to keep in mind.

 

59MN7 Gas Furnace Attains ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Status

Energy Star Gas Furnace

Carrier is pleased to announce that the 59MN7 gas furnace family has attained the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2012 designation. This moniker recognizes the most efficient products among those that qualify for the ENERGY STAR. These exceptional furnaces represent the leading edge in energy efficient products this year.

This special ENERGY STAR designation is one more reason homeowners should rely upon their Carrier expert dealer to offer innovative comfort solutions.

Homeowners can read all about the Carrier 59MN7 Infinity 98 gas furnace by visiting the Carrier residential consumer website at carrier.com or directly through the ENERGY STAR website at
www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=most_efficient.me_furnaces.


Locking Refrigerant Access Ports: One of which is a code put into place last year where all new installations of outside air conditioners or heat pumps now require locking refrigerant access ports. This code was not enforced last year, but will be this year. This new code was put into place to prevent people or persons from inhaling or (huffing) Freon from residential and commercial systems. Locking caps also prevent the theft of Freon for resale. The cost of Freon is rising and is worth more per pound then metal.  Some systems can require two to six caps. Each cap cost $11.00. These caps require a special key to lock and unlock the caps. These access ports which require caps are for service technicians only. This is also why we do not leave the key for the caps with the homeowner.


Carbon monoxide detectors are also required to be installed in one and two family dwellings, manufactured dwellings, and multifamily housing. This code was put into place in 2009 and strictly enforced. We believe every house should have a carbon monoxide detector. The investment is minimal compared to one`s life. Many questions come up about who needs one, what kind to purchase, and do they work. Every dwelling should have one and in some cases more than one. They need to be located in each bedroom or within fifteen feet of each bedroom door. Bedrooms on separate floors in a structure containing two or more stories require separate carbon monoxide alarms. Purchasing of carbon monoxide detectors can vary in price considerably. The main things you want to look for are power consumption and battery backup life, location of where to mount the unit, and life expectancy of the unit. Make sure you read the mounting instructions; many require the unit to be mounted at least six feet off the ground. Not too many homes have outlets six feet off the ground. We currently sell a unit which reads at lower levels than most store purchased models, and has a built in battery backup, with a detector life of seven years from the date of installation. Cost is $100.00 each.

The answer to “do they work?” is yes. Here’s a great example: We had a customer with four of them installed in the home. We added the detectors when we changed out the existing gas furnace. Three months after installation on the fourth of July at 10 pm, the one in the bedroom sounded the alarm off. The customer didn’t smell anything and thought the unit was defective, so he replaced it with another one in the hallway. Within ten minutes the replacement unit sounded off, so they called the fire department. When firefighters arrived they removed the customer and the family from the house until the gas company arrived. The gas company arrived and found the pool heater in the crawl space was faulty and leaking carbon monoxide into the home. The pool heater was only three years old. Many appliances can contribute to carbon monoxide, but not limited to cooking stoves, fireplaces including wood fireplaces, wall heaters, oil furnaces, propane and natural gas appliances, any products that emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion. I feel strongly about this matter and recommend no matter where you purchase your detector, spend the extra money. It could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.


Earthquake Seismic Valves: Earthquakes are not something we think much about in Oregon, but in reality its one of our major threats. After the Japan earthquake I took to researching more about safety precautions for our industry. I came across a company which sells earthquake seismic valves for residential and commercial applications. I liked the product so much that we became a distributor for the manufacture. We install and sell the valves to other heating and cooling companies as well.

The valve is mounted at the gas meter outside the home and is securely fastened to the home with a wall bracket to prevent movement. Movement caused by meter readers, garbage cans, lawnmowers, etc. The valve protects the home if an earthquake occurs at 5.4 magnitude or higher. The valve also has to be manual reset if an occurrence causes it to shut down. The valve protects family and belongings in the home from gas leaking and fire if a possible break or crack occurs in the gas piping system.

If an earthquake occurs, this valve does not protect the gas line coming from the street to the meter. This is the gas company’s line and cannot be touched by contractors.

I priced the valves and installation for a single valve up to one inch pipe diameter at $475.00. We also have available valves up to eight inches in diameter for commercial applications. Typical installation time is two hours and the home needs to be accessed for restarting of appliances.