A gas-powered furnace isn’t an inherently dangerous way to provide comfort for a home, although the news sometimes likes to panic people into thinking otherwise. This is primarily hype: the current designs of furnaces contain numerous safety devices to protect you and your family.
But, as with any system that runs from natural gas, there is still some possibility of a leak of toxic and combustible gases from the furnace. In this post, we’ll to go over some ways to be extra safe with your furnace for the coming winter.
Make sure the furnace has its fall inspection and tune-up
This is very important. A furnace needs an annual maintenance visit from a certified HVAC professional. (An amateur could possibly make it less safe, so don’t even think about it.) Maintenance serves a number of purposes, but with a gas furnace it also checks to see that there are no potential safety hazards in the making. A professional maintenance technician will inspect for cracked heat exchangers and run a test to detect any gas leaks.
Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors
CO detectors are simple but invaluable devices when you use natural gas in your home. Run tests on the detectors in your home (they have a small button on the front you push) to see that they are working and if you need to change their batteries.
Keep the air filter in the furnace clean
The air filter in a furnace must not become clogged over the winter. Each month, either replace the filter (if the furnace uses a temporary one) or take it out and clean it (for a permanent filter).
Clear the area around the furnace cabinet
Remember that the furnace cabinet grows hot during operation, and you don’t want to risk anything catching fire. Don’t store anything near the furnace, and make sure all children in the house know not to go near it.
Call for repairs at the first sign of trouble
Any indication of a malfunctioning furnace needs repair technicians on the job right away. It’s likely the issue won’t create a safety hazard, but you can never be too cautious. Also call for assistance if you smell gas in the house (although CO is odorless, many gas manufacturers put a taint into the gas so it can be detected) and keep out of the house until assistance arrives.
Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. offers furnace repair services in Knightdale, NC.