Many residents of Golden Triangle, TX have smoke detectors in their homes. The devices are usually installed at strategic locations around the house and help to alert everyone in the home when some type of smoke begins to collect nearby. Along with these types of safety devices, there are also detectors designed for installation in the ductwork in an air conditioning system. Duct smoke detectors provide a valuable service and may even help to contain smoke that accumulates in the ducts and triggers additional problems with the system itself.
Since many consumers are not aware that it is possible to install smoke detectors in air conditioning ductwork, we want to offer some basic information about how the detectors work and what they can provide for homeowners. Along with routine air conditioning maintenance, smoke detectors of this type will go a long way toward keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Early Detection of Smoke
When a fire breaks out in the home, that smoke will often begin to spread throughout the structure by moving through the ductwork. Depending on the location of the fire, it may take a few minutes for the smoke detectors mounted on walls or ceilings to sound a warning. If detectors are also in the ductwork, an alarm will sound immediately. Since even a few seconds can mean the difference between vacating the building safely and being trapped, that early detection and warning is very important.
Shutting Down the System
Another benefit that duct smoke detectors offer is the ability to shut down the HVAC system when smoke is identified in the ducts. This type of safety feature will increase the chances of getting out of the building safely. If the system is shut down, that means there is no forced stream of air passing through the ductwork. As a result, the smoke will progress at a slower pace. Since one of the primary dangers with fire is smoke inhalation, the lack of circulation can make it easier to find the nearest exit and leave the building.
Shutting down the system is also important if the origin of the fire is electrical. With no power flow to the air conditioning system, there is less chance of damage to the unit. This means the amount of air conditioning maintenance and repair needed after the event will be significantly less.
Sealing the Ductwork
It is not unusual for duct smoke detectors to also include a feature that seals off the vents connected with the ducts. Once smoke is detected, the detectors can kill the flow of air, and close off the vents. This effectively blocks the progression of the smoke and further increases the chances of everyone getting out of the home safely. Assuming the air conditioning maintenance includes inspecting the circuitry that makes it possible to close the ducts when smoke is detected, this feature will increase your chances of reaching and exit without any problems.
Evaluating Your System
The professionals at Thermacon Service can provide help with assessing the configuration of the HVAC system in your Golden Triangle, TX home. We can also examine the duct system and determine the type of duct smoke detectors that would be the best fit for your system. As part of the ongoing air conditioning maintenance, we can inspect the detectors and make sure they are functional and will alert your household in the event of a fire.