Tips to Ensure Furnace Safety
Your heater is an essential component in keeping you and your family warm and comfortable during the cold Kentucky winter months. In addition to heating your living space, your heater needs to meet the highest safety standards so that it does not pose a health or accident risk in your home.
There are several potential hazards related to the heating system, including accidental fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. The latest data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that, from 2014 to 2018, there was an average of nearly 48,000 home heating system fires per year, around 500 deaths, more than 1000 injuries, and more than $1 billion in property damage. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that at least 430 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Most homes are heated by a furnace that is fueled by LPG from the gas network. The LPG is ignited and warms the air, which is then fed back into your home. Regular professional inspections of your furnace can keep fire and health hazards at bay and ensure that you are protected.
Clean Furnace Interior and Exterior
The area around your furnace should be free of clutter. The ideal clearance should be at least two feet in all directions. Typically, your furnace will be located in your garage, attic, basement, or utility closet, and these places usually double as storage space. Flammable objects or liquids that are stored too close to the furnace can be dangerous. These include cardboard boxes, paint, gasoline, laundry detergent, rags, and papers. All containers with flammable liquids or gases should be tightly closed in storage.
A professional heating technician can clean the interior of the furnace and the vents. The combustion chamber accumulates by-products of burning gas, such as soot and water vapor. This mixture of carbon and moisture can corrode the walls of the chamber and lead to gas leaks or a fire hazard. The flue pipe has to be kept free of debris and buildup so that the exhaust system is not compromised. The burner pipes and nozzles should be kept clean for clean combustion. Floor vents tend to accumulate dust, grime, pet dander, and other substances that can cause blockages and drive up the heater’s threshold temperature, too. They should be cleaned regularly.
Keep Vents and Supply Registers Open
It is important not to close off vents or supply registers in rooms that do not require as much heating. As opposed to conserving heat, this makes your heater work harder to attain the thermostat setting and drive up your utility bills. More importantly, it can cause the heater to consume too much oxygen in your home, which can be dangerous. The heater might start blowing air that is too hot, causing the safety mechanism to trip. Since the external air intake and the exhaust system are exposed to the elements and have to be kept clear, it’s essential that there is unobstructed airflow within your home. This is especially crucial after a heavy snowfall.
Furnace air filters trap dust and other contaminants from indoor air before it is heated and recirculated. A dirty filter will make the furnace work harder to keep up the airflow, thereby wasting energy. It also pollutes the interior of the furnace and can lead to fire hazards from combustible materials like lint entering the furnace. Try to clean the filter each month.
Check Furnace Efficiency
The burners should burn a blue flame instead of orange. A blue flame indicates clean burning, and an orange flame means that the burner or igniter tubes and nozzles need to be cleaned or replaced. A professional technician will also check to ensure that there is no corrosion or holes in the exhaust flue, which could lead to carbon monoxide leaks.
Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing provides professional heating services to homes in Somerset, KY, other cities in Pulaski County, as well as neighboring counties like Wayne and Russell. We are locally owned and operated. Our top-notch services have earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Our technicians are available seven days a week, for your convenience.
Our team of trained and skilled technicians will perform a systematic inspection and tune-up of your furnace and entire heating system, so you can feel assured about its safe and efficient operation. We also perform the installation and repair of heaters and air conditioners. In addition to HVAC service, we provide plumbing services that include the cleaning and repair of drains, pipes, bathroom plumbing, garbage disposals, and water heaters. Call us today to schedule an appointment for your home’s furnace inspection or to schedule another service.