A furnace is a lifesaver during our harsh winters. But it can also be a danger under the wrong conditions. Installing a furnace is actually more important than the furnace itself. You could have a state-of-the-art, top of the line furnace, but if it isn’t installed properly there can be deadly consequences.
With a gas furnace comes the risk that there could be a fire or an explosion if the gas leaks. This is exactly what happened to a home in Ontario; a gas explosion killed one man and damaged 40 other houses. If you have a cracked heat exchanger, or a combustion problem that goes unchecked by a professional, you could be at risk of having the same thing happen to you.
Your furnace can also be among the top sources of carbon monoxide in your home. Carbon monoxide is invisible and scentless, killing dozens of people every year. While a working, properly tuned furnace won’t leak this toxic gas into the air, a malfunctioning one could, and without proper training and safety gear, you won’t realize something is wrong until it’s too late.
Fortunately, you can mitigate these risks. One of the reasons furnaces endanger homeowners is because it they’re suffering from neglect. Without regular attention, a furnace can start to breakdown and malfunction.
Furnace Safety Tips to Follow
Now that you know the facts, here are some furnace safety tips for your whole family to follow.
1. Have Annual Maintenance Done
Annual maintenance is an absolute necessity for a safe, high-efficiency furnace. In fact, many manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep the warranty valid. A professional will be able to diagnose problems, and a tune up will help prevent problems that could potentially be life-threatening.
It’s important to remember that all repairs should be handled by a professional. Working with a system that uses combustible substances requires special training and a license. If you suspect your furnace needs a repair, please call us.
2. Have Carbon Monoxide Detectors Installed and Up to Date
Protect yourself from carbon monoxide by having alarms installed on every floor and near every bedroom in your home. You should also have one by your furnace (at a distance of 10 or more feet away).
Devices range from basic plug-in units to hardwired combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure to change the batteries every spring and fall – we suggest doing it along the same schedule as daylight savings time.
Daylight savings time ends on November 4th this year, so if you didn’t change the batteries in your devices (or haven’t in awhile), set a reminder for yourself this fall. Always remember that the detectors should be replaced entirely by the date stamped on the unit.
3. Keep Little Ones Away From the Furnace
Kids are curious by nature, but one place they should never explore is the area of your home where your furnace is kept. It’s not hard to open the panel with a screwdriver, and before you know it there could be a real problem.
Not only could the kids hurt themselves, but they could cause damage to the furnace, which puts your home at risk. Make sure to tell children to avoid that area, and keep an eye out for any curious explorers who decide it wouldn’t hurt to take a peek.
4. Maintain a Clearing of at Least 3ft Around the Furnace
Not only is this required for a contractor to come in and service it, but it’s not a good idea to have anything too close to a combustible heat source.
Make an Appointment for a Furnace Tune-Up
If you haven’t had your yearly furnace tune-up yet, now is the time. Book an appointment with us, and we’ll make sure your furnace is safe to use for the coming months.
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