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Getting to Know Your HVAC System’s Safety Features

by | Nov 27, 2022 | blog, HVAC Services Tulsa

Your heating system may be complex, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to understand.  Let’s walk through how our heaters work to better understand what’s going on with them and what to watch out for.

How Your Heater Works:

  1. Fuel enters your system through a pipe and lights a system burner.
  2. Your unit’s heat exchanger warms the cold air that is already in your home.
  3. A fan located inside the system sends the warmed air through the ducts in your home and it exits through the vents in each room.
  4. Cool air is pulled from your home into the system return ducts.
  5. This process continues while your home heats up.
  6. Once the temperature setpoint you have programmed into the thermostat has been reached, the system is alerted to stop producing warm air.


Since your heater relies on combustion, many safety features are built in to prevent dangerously high temperatures or carbon monoxide buildup.  When this system is performing properly, carbon monoxide and other harmful exhaust fumes are pushed outside your home and ventilated safely.

One common term to become familiar with is the system flame sensor.  This feature triggers the gas supply to turn off if the sensor detects that no gas is burning. If gas is not burning, it gathers and can build up so much that it ignites and/or explodes.  This sensor is crucial because it shuts everything down if the burning of that gas ceases.  If your system tries to turn on but is followed only by clicking sounds with no heat being produced, this sensor may be the key to your problem.  This is important to tell your technician when you call in to place the order for your service call.

Other Important Safety Features

Many other measures should be put in place to ensure the overall safety of your home and your loved ones.  Since many of your household appliances create heat by burning fuel and using electricity, it is important to have the following in place to work in tandem with the built-in fail safes of each appliance.  Every year, check to see that your appliances are in good condition and properly ventilated.  Your stove, toaster oven, and vent hood are just a few things in your home that should be examined each year to ensure there is no grease build-up, missing parts, or malfunctioning parts.

Smoke detector:  If you do not have a smoke detector in each bedroom and hallway, as well as the kitchen, this should be your first priority.  If you need assistance choosing and installing these, you can call any fire department.  They will schedule a time to come out and help you install these life-saving devices.  This service helps protect and inform the community and firefighters are happy to empower you to protect your home and belongings.  These detectors are not expensive, and can be purchased as a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide detector:  These important devices detect the build up of carbon monoxide that can sometimes happen when an exhaust pipe becomes clogged.  You’ve likely heard of house fires and monoxide issues on the news, most of which could have been lessened or prevented by the installation and proper maintenance of a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in as many rooms of the home as possible.

Your HVAC technician is trained to inspect the flames in your system by color to ensure that the proper gas is being burned, and they carry carbon monoxide detectors with them to ensure that all your in-home sensors are working properly.

Schedule Your System Maintenance in the Fall
The importance of a seasonal heater inspection can not be overstated. This is part of our service contracts and should be regularly scheduled to catch any issues before they trigger a system failure or bigger issue such as a fire. Our technicians are trained and well-versed in the current safety trends, and are familiar with each system. Heating systems can vary widely in capabilities and overall performance, but the key components are similar. Your technician understands the capacity and nuance of each one.
There are also safety measures that you, the homeowner, can perform yourself. These include changing air filters and consistently checking the batteries in your detectors. When you speak with one of our technicians, make them aware of the tasks you’re keeping up with. Then, simply ask us to check your system to make sure it’s ready for the next season and you will have done the most important step in keeping you and your home safe.
At Dowd Heat & Air, we work with our clients to create a home-safety relationship that is seamless and easy to maintain. We strive to ensure that each service contract works with your schedule, and makes each season as pleasant as possible. With the right tools such as detectors in your home, a little knowledge, and a great customer service team on your side, you are more than ready for whatever the new season brings your way.


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