Natural gas furnaces aren’t “dangerous” devices to have in a home: they’re not a constant concern for the health and safety of a household. There would be no way gas furnaces would be permitted in so many homes if they easily became deadly.
However, any gas appliance has the potential to create combustion dangers and toxic gas leaks. As long as you know the basic safety precautions to take with your natural gas furnace, you can avoid such problems. Below we’ve listed the important steps to take to ensure you have a safe winter season of heating with your gas furnace.
Always schedule annual maintenance
This is the most important safety step of all. A gas furnace needs an annual inspection and tune-up from HVAC professionals to ensure it’s in good working order and doesn’t need repairs or a replacement. The best time to schedule this furnace service in Parksville, BC is in fall before winter arrives. However, it’s never too late to have it done, and skipping it is a far worse choice. If you have yet to schedule maintenance for your furnace, call us: we have a special residential maintenance program to handle this job each year.
Replace the furnace filter regularly
The furnace filter protects the interior of the cabinet from particles that come in through the return air ducts. The furnace needs a clean filter at the beginning of the season so it gets off to a good start at working efficiently and effectively. But you’ll need to change the filter every one to three months after that. A clogged filter can cause the furnace to overheat and create many other problems.
Clear the area around the furnace cabinet
Furnaces are often located in parts of houses where homeowners tend to store items. Unfortunately, these items are often placed too close to the furnace cabinet, where they can pose a fire hazard from heat or even sparks. We recommend you keep the area around the furnace clear for at least a foot and don’t store flammable items near it, especially fuel cans and paint thinner.
Check carbon monoxide detectors
First, you must have carbon monoxide detectors in your house if you use natural gas in any capacity. These detectors are an important part of staying safe, since they’ll give your family a warning if there’s a harmful increase in CO leves. But just because you have them doesn’t mean you can take their operation for granted. Test each CO detector at the start of the season. They may need new batteries or even be replaced. We recommend putting in new detectors after six years, since these devices aren’t designed to last forever.
Scheduled any repairs promptly
If you detect behavior from your furnace that seems off, never hesitate to call us for repairs. Even if the furnace is still working and putting out heat, a malfunction can put the operation of the system at risk and even create a safety hazard. The sooner you have the system checked and repaired (if necessary), the safer you’ll feel—and the less likely you’ll get caught in a cold house.
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