Your furnace is the essential HVAC system component that keeps your home comfortably warm during our cold Ohio winters, but it’s also a fuel combustion device that can pose safety hazards such as carbon monoxide exposure, gas leaks or accidental fires. Here’s how to prioritize furnace safety so it doesn’t become a menace that puts your family’s well-being in jeopardy.
Schedule Regular Professional Maintenance
A furnace should be inspected, cleaned and tuned-up at the beginning of each heating season to keep it operating efficiently and minimize potential safety issues. During a maintenance visit, a trained technician will perform various procedures to ensure its safe operation, like checking the heat exchanger for cracks and corrosion, testing the pilot light, burner ignition and flame sensor function, inspecting the gas valve and lines, checking the electrical connections and wiring, examining the flue, and testing the high limit control.
Keep Flammables and Combustibles Away
To limit the danger of a fire, avoid storing anything combustible or flammable near your furnace. Items that might easily explode or catch fire when stored near combustion equipment include cleaning solutions, gasoline, aerosol sprays, paint and paint thinners, rags, kitty litter, paper or wood products, textiles and laundry.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s vital to have detector devices installed in your home to protect your family against exposure to lethal carbon monoxide gas and fires. Placement of such devices matters, so make sure you install them adjacent to each sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Test your detectors monthly and replace the batteries regularly so they’re always in good working condition.
Stay Alert to Gas Odors
Natural gas is odorless, so manufacturers add the chemical mercaptan to give it a distinctive scent. If you notice a sulfur-like or “rotten egg” smell anywhere near your furnace, you may have a gas leak that can cause a fire or explosion. Call your fire department immediately, then evacuate the house until the leak source is identified and fixed.
If you need expert help addressing furnace safety concerns in your Dayton-area home, contact us at Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).