The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute is warning consumers about the dangers of altering any gas-fired heating appliance.
AHRI says manufacturers must use specific
engineering and design knowledge to develop gas-fired heating appliances that
operate safely and properly under a variety of conditions.
designs are tested and certified by third-party independent testing agencies,
like CSA International, ETL/Intertek and Underwriters Laboratories for
compliance with nationally recognized, voluntary consensus safety standards.
Any unauthorized modification to a gas-fired appliance, no matter how minor,
can alter the design and compromise the safety of that unit.
example, the AHRI said an alteration that changes the combustion process might
cause carbon monoxide emissions that exceed the limits specified in the safety
standards. Modifications should only be
made that are authorized by the original equipment manufacturer or other
recognized authority and performed by qualified service
The institute said that consumers should be aware
of companies that offer to make, or instruct consumers about how to make,
modifications to various appliances without expressed, written authorization of
the OEM. Consumers should always check
with the OEM or their local representative to ensure that a modification is
“Any unauthorized modification to a gas-burning
appliance voids its safety certification and may expose consumers to a risk of
property damage, personal injury or even death,” said institute chief technical
adviser Frank A. Stanonik. “AHRI is
committed to providing consumers with information on the proper installation
and safe and efficient use of gas-fired appliances.”