What to Watch For: HVAC Safety for Kids

What to Watch For: HVAC Safety for KidsHVAC safety becomes a bigger issue when small people like kids inhabit the house. We all know that kids can get into almost anything when you’re not looking. Therefore, it’s helpful to remove any safety issues relating to the cooling and heating system from the list of potential household hazards. Making your HVAC system kid-proof also enhances HVAC safety for those other people—known as adults—who live there, too.

Here are a few suggestions to minimize risks.

Secure the vents.

Furnace floor vents are interesting to kids and in easy reach, too. The vent slots can be sharp to tiny probing fingers. Also make sure that children can’t lift vent covers up from the floor and expose the ducts. Vent covers should be secured with screws to prevent removal.

Keep the thermostat out of reach.

Make sure the thermostat is mounted high enough that children can’t get their hands on it. A curious child could potentially change indoor temperatures into hazardously hot or cold levels.

Prevent access to the furnace.

The indoor furnace/air handler may located in a dedicated closet (or room) and potentially accessible to kids. The space may include furnace and burners, blower fan, electric motor as well as the central A/C coil and condensate drain pan. Any or all of those components might be harmful to a child. Keep the door to the room or closet locked at all times.

Safeguard the outdoor A/C unit.

Children playing outside may be attracted to the big metal unit that makes that interesting whooshing noise. The exhaust vent slots on the side of the unit could injure small fingers. The fan grille on top of the unit keeps hands out, but might still allow kids to stick other objects down into the spinning fan that could cause injury. If unsupervised small children have access to the outdoor unit, you might consider enclosing it in a small fence to keep them out until they’re old enough to know the hazards.

Since 1922, Paitson Bros. has been the local source of advice for home and family issues like improving HVAC safety.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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