In most parts of the country, winter is the coldest time of the year. While our winters are mild, we still need heaters to keep our homes comfortable in December and January. When the temperature outside dips below 50 degrees, you may be ready to fire up your furnace. Before turning on your heater this winter, it’s important to remember that gas furnaces can be unsafe if not properly maintained. If your system hasn’t been inspected or serviced over the past year, then contact an HVAC specialist to schedule an appointment. In addition to maintenance, gas furnace safety is a serious issue. Keep reading for winter safety tips for your gas furnace.
5 Furnace Safety Tips to Get You Through the Winter
Gas furnaces are an affordable choice for most households. Not only are they energy efficient, but newer models are also some of the cleanest fossil fuel appliances on the market. To ensure your gas furnace is ready to heat your home or office this winter, schedule an inspection and service from a qualified system specialist.
Keeping your furnace in good condition is just one part of furnace maintenance. You should also:
Monitor System Intake and Exhaust Area: Summer winds and the wet weather of autumn can leave your system with debris and items blocking your system's air intake and exhaust out-take systems. When your system can’t take in and release air, it can cause carbon monoxide to back up into your home or office. You can keep the area clean by sweeping up debris and ensuring nothing flammable in the area. A towel, blanket, or pillow in the wrong area near your furnace could easily lead to a fire.
Filter Maintenance: If you schedule a maintenance appointment, this will be handled during your inspection and servicing. If you plan to handle furnace maintenance on your own, it’s important to remember to replace your filters regularly. Depending on the type used in your home, they should be replaced or cleaned according to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your system.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Make sure your home is outfitted with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Many homes have one but not the other. Modern units are combined into one unit. There should be at least one on every floor of your home and an additional unit near your furnace. Carbon monoxide is an odorless toxic gas, so it’s vital to the safety and health of your family that you check your systems and replace batteries before starting your heater this winter.
Practice Space Heater Safety: If your home is drafty or older, it can be difficult to keep it warm during the winter. If you require additional heating from a space heater unit, remember these devices can be dangerous if not used as intended.