Furnace safety is a timely topic as another cold winter comes on strong. Since Oklahoma’s among the top natural gas-producing states in the U.S., it’s no surprise that gas heating is the preferred choice for residential use. Like any home heating device, gas furnaces require periodic attention for proper maintenance and safe operation. Here are some furnace safety tips to ensure peace of mind and consistent heating comfort in the the coming winter.
Schedule professional maintenance.
All gas furnaces should receive an annual inspection and preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC professional. The service includes verifying the integrity of critical components such as the heat exchanger as well as sensors that detect overheating and safety switches that shut down the system automatically. Tests to detect hazardous carbon monoxide gas in the system airflow are also included. Professional maintenance also supports furnace performance and efficiency for optimum heating comfort and lowest operating costs.
Keep the furnace area clear.
Don’t utilize the furnace closet or immediate vicinity to store flammable items such as boxes or clothes. Also, keep combustible liquids in a separate part of the house or garage.
Change the Filter
Change the furnace air filter at least every other month. A clogged filter impedes airflow that may overheat the furnace.
Inspect the Vent Pipe
Visually inspect the furnace vent pipe for deterioration, loosening joints or possible obstructions such as bird’s nests at the roof where the vent terminates.
Verify that the removable front cover of the furnace is securely installed.
New furnaces incorporate a safety interlock to prevent operation without a panel, which could pose a fire hazard. However, some older units do not have this protection.
Check the supply and return vents in each room.
To prevent overheating of the furnace, no more than 20% of the vents in the home should be closed at the same time.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
If you don’t already have them, install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the home and outside every sleeping area. Replace the battery twice a year.
For more furnace safety advice, as well as annual furnace inspection and maintenance, contact the pros at Air Assurance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.