The first freezing temps of the year always bring on an influx of calls to HVAC technicians.
This year in particular, companies in several parts of North Texas say they’re overwhelmed with the number of furnaces they’re finding disconnected from the vents that keep families safe.
These chilly last few days of October are the first that many are turning on the heat since having their roof worked on after April brought damaging hail to several communities.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“Because they’re trying to put new shingles on, they inadvertently detach these,” said Marcus Melrose with Samm’s Heating and Cooling.
Melrose says the pipe that funnels dangerous carbon monoxide from the furnace to the vent that lets it escape the attic is often easily knocked loose.
“This flue pipe here, usually it’s disconnected at the roof or at that elbow. But I’ve seen it lower, like at any of these connecting pieces here,” said Melrose.
And the scary part is, many homeowners never know.
James Blyzes says he usually only ventures into his attic twice a year, to pull Christmas decorations out and put them back up. That’s why he had no idea the flue pipe to his water heater had been knocked out of place during a roof repair several months back.
“I would’ve never even thought to look at that. It would never have even crossed my mind,” said Blyzes.
Luckily for him, an inspector with the city of McKinney found the mistake.
“He said they were finding a lot of incidents of the vent pipe stacks on water heaters being missing,” said Blyzes.
Melrose says he’s come across at least a dozen similar situations in the last few months during routine service calls. That’s why he encourages people to always have their system checked after roofing work.
“Your heat would still be working, but you’d have carbon monoxide dumping into your attic and seep down into your home,” said Melrose. “What’s your health and your life worth to you?”
HVAC specialists say you should always have carbon monoxide detectors in your home to alert you when levels get dangerously high. Although, they say they have equipment that allows them to detect leaks before most home detectors give an alert.