Gas furnaces are not dangerous appliances to have in your home. The modern gas furnace is built with safety uppermost in mind, and if they did regularly pose dangers they wouldn’t even be allowed in residential buildings.
However, many appliances can become dangerous if handled wrong or kept in poor condition, and this definitely applies to any gas-powered appliance. Combusting natural gas, such as in a gas furnace, can lead to carbon monoxide leaks and fire hazards. If you know the right steps to take each year with your gas furnace, you can reduce the chances of furnace dangers to almost nothing.
Below are the best ways to ensure a safely working gas furnace this winter.
Schedule professional maintenance in the fall
Maintenance is the most important step for keeping a gas furnace operating safely. During professional maintenance, trained technicians closely inspect the furnace to look for potential problems: cracks in the heat exchanger, stuck valves, leaks in the gas line, faulty safety mechanisms, and bad venting. If they locate a problem, they can schedule the heating repair in Hatboro, PA to fix it, or they may be able to resolve it on the spot. Maintenance has numerous other benefits, so please make sure to arrange for this service every fall.
Change the furnace filter regularly
The furnace filter protects the furnace’s interior from dust and debris. The filter will become clogged after one to three months, creating many problems for the furnace—including possible safety hazards. A dirty filter can trap excess heat within the furnace, leading to overheating. We recommend you not only put in a new filter at the start of the heating season, but check on the filter every month to see when you need to put in a new one.
Provide clearance for the furnace
Furnaces are usually located in places in a house where people also like to store objects, like the basement, closet, or garage. However, you want to maintain a three-foot buffer zone around your gas furnace to prevent combustion in case of sparks or flame roll-out. Make sure any highly flammable items, such as cans of paint thinner, are located far from the heat of the furnace.
Do not hang anything over the furnace
The exterior of the furnace heats up as it runs, and casually draping a piece of clothing or blankets over it while you’re working at doing something else can create a significant fire hazard. (And please don’t use the heat from the furnace to help “dry” any clothing!)
Test your CO detectors
If you use natural gas in your home in any way, you must have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your house to provide you with a warning of CO build-up. (CO is difficult for the human senses to detect.) We hope you already have your CO detectors—but you’ll need to see they’re operating before winter. Press the “TEST” button on each of the detectors to register that they’re working. In some cases, you may need to put in new batteries.
When you need help with your furnace, contact Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning: A Degree Above the Rest.