It's summertime and the kids are home. If you have young children who are inclined to explore and get into everything the minute your back is turned, you may want to go through your house and make some changes that will ensure their safety. While you're at it, don't forget the HVAC system.
HVAC safety? Isn't it pretty much tucked away where no one is likely to bother with it? Maybe. But just to be on the safe side, here are some measures you can take to make sure your kids aren't harmed by -- and also do no harm -- to your expensive HVAC system.
Young children have been known to toss toys in floor vents, or even pour liquids and powders into the vents and make a real mess. You can't close them off totally, but you can make sure the vent covers are screwed in place, and also put wire mesh screens over the openings to ensure no solid objects go down.
Indoor and Outdoor Components
Ensure that the little rug rats can't gain access to either the indoor or outdoor HVAC units. Both sides have parts that can cut, burn or electrocute. If you have a floor-level interior cabinet, lock the door and secure the key. If your unit is in the basement or attic, make sure the kids don't have a way to reach it and hurt themselves or damage the unit by tossing toys or other objects or substances inside. The same goes for the outdoor compressor. Erect a barrier around it that will keep kids out so they don't damage condenser fins or pour anything inside the unit.
Kids can be ingenious when it comes to finding ways to reach high objects. You don't want them messing with the controls, which can damage the thermostat and throw your air conditioner off kilter if the temperature set points are adjusted too erratically. To prevent this, install some type of locking cabinet or box around the thermostat.
Visit the Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar website for in-depth information on HVAC safety and most other HVAC topics, or call (408) 868-5500.