Winter is not here yet, but you’ll probably turn your furnace on sometime during the late fall. Now is the right time to go over some important safety guidelines for your furnace.
Before we go further, we want to emphasize that using a gas furnace to heat a home isn’t “dangerous.” If it were, these heating systems wouldn’t be allowed in homes in the first place. As long as you follow basic precautions, you can expect your furnace to work without trouble and keep your home warm and safe through the winter. Let’s take a look at some important furnace safety tips.
Always schedule pre-season maintenance with professionals.
No other step is more important for securing the safe operation of your gas furnace. During a maintenance appointment, our technicians do a careful safety inspection of your furnace, looking for issues such as cracks in the heat exchanger or failed safety devices. We’ll identify any problems so you can have them repaired before you start using the furnace. Maintenance offers numerous other benefits, so never miss out on this fall appointment.
Keep the area around the furnace clear.
Maintain a one-foot zone around the furnace that’s clear of any objects. This not only allows the furnace to vent properly, it prevents objects from accidentally catching fire because of stray sparks from the furnace. Be especially cautious about highly flammable objects such as clothes, old papers, and cans of fuel and paint thinner.
Know where the emergency shut-off switch is located.
Your furnace has its own dedicated breaker switch that’s located near it. If you don’t know where this is, go locate it and make sure other people in the household also know where it is. In case of an emergency with the furnace, shut it off at this switch and then leave the house.
Have CO detectors in the house and regularly test them.
If your house uses natural gas in any capacity, you must have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors at several locations around the house. We recommend installing hardwired detectors. These detectors will pick up on a rise in levels of carbon monoxide if it begins to escape from the furnace—and you need this warning because CO is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
Test each of these detectors in the spring and the fall: press the “test” button on the units and listen for a steady beep. If you don’t hear the beep, the detector either needs new batteries or needs repair.
Never run the furnace with a repair issue.
If your furnace begins to show signs that it’s malfunctioning (making odd noises, shutting off too quickly, heating the house unevenly) don’t keep using it and hope the problem will go away. A malfunctioning furnace can become dangerous. Call us right away and we’ll inspect your furnace and see if you need furnace repair in Greenville, SC.
Read the manual.
Do you have the furnace’s manual still around, unread? It’s a good idea to read through it so you understand safety features (such as the location of the shut-off switch).
Reach out to Carolina Climate Control for all your furnace needs. The Moose Is Loose in Your Neighborhood!