Safety has been a huge topic of conversation lately. With COVID-19 cases still going strong, people are urged to stay home and stay safe. A vaccine is on its way—it’s already being administered in healthcare facilities to staff and residents throughout the country! In the meantime, we’re all doing our part to protect the health and safety of our families and communities.
But have you given thought to your home safety this year? If you have a gas-powered furnace you absolutely should be considering this. That’s not to say that gas-powered heaters are inherently dangerous, but when not properly cared for and without the right preparation, they can become so.
Read on as we go over a brief checklist that you can use to make sure your gas furnace is ready for the winter season!
Improve Furnace Safety and Efficiency
The very first tip we’re going to offer here is probably one you’ve heard before—scheduling routine maintenance! Maintenance allows our technicians to comprehensively inspect, clean, and adjust your system, while ensuring there are no signs of repair that could threaten safety or efficiency. In addition to maintenance, you should:
- Keep Your Furnace Clean and Unobstructed: This may seem like just a good housekeeping hint, but it’s also a great safety tip, too! Remember, your furnace produces heat via combustion, so it’s generally a good idea to keep anything flammable away from the equipment. There should be at least two feet around your furnace that’s clear of debris and swept. Additionally, your indoor unit should be cleaned off of dust and other debris.
- Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Like we said above, gas-powered furnaces are not inherently dangerous. But, they do house potentially harmful gasses, such as CO (carbon monoxide). This is a tasteless and odorless gas that can cause severe health problems for you and your family. A severe enough exposure can even lead to fatalities. Make sure you test your CO detectors just as often as you check your smoke detectors for functionality (we recommend twice a year at least).
- Trust Your Nose: When you use your furnace for the first time each winter, it’s natural for it to have some odor, as dust burns off the jets. This smell should dissipate after a few days of using your system, though. If it’s a strong burning smell or acrid odor, no matter how long it’s been, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
- Replace Your Air Filter: This isn’t so much a safety tip, but it is a good tip to avoid furnace breakdown! The air filter that comes standard with your furnace is in place to protect the heating system from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get in and pummel its components. This restricts airflow, making it harder for your furnace to do its job. To protect your furnace’s efficiency and efficacy, make it a point to change out your air filter every 1-3 months.