Cold winter nights can be cozy and comforting, but if your furnace isn’t up to snuff, you may find yourself in the cold. To ensure your home stays warm and safe this winter, we have rounded up 10 essential furnace safety tips. From checking for carbon monoxide leaks to monitoring the temperature of your heating system regularly, these safety tips will help you stay warm and safe all winter long!
Inspect your furnace regularly.
Making sure your furnace is running safely and efficiently starts with regular inspection. Take the time to examine your furnace, looking at its components to ensure they are working properly. Check the flue and vent pipes, ducts, filters, blades and fan belts for any cracks or signs of wear and tear. You should also check to make sure the thermostat is functioning correctly as well as ensure that all wiring connections are tight. Cleaning can also significantly improve a furnace’s performance: Be sure to remove any built-up dirt and dust in the blower compartment or other areas around the furnace. Suppose you detect any issues during your inspections that would be better addressed by a professional technician. In that case, it is best to call someone in for a thorough inspection at least once a year before turning on the system for winter heating season.
Keep flammable materials away from your furnace.
It is important to keep flammable materials away from your furnaces, such as gasoline and paint. If these materials get too close to the heat of the burning fuel, it could create an explosive situation. Keep any such items in a garage or shed away from the furnace area. Additionally, do not store any flammable materials anywhere in your home near a combustible appliance such as a water heater or stove. Not only will you be protecting yourself from potentially hazardous situations, but you will also be reducing the number of airborne particles circulated into your vents.
Check your furnace’s carbon monoxide detector.
It is vital to ensure that the carbon monoxide detector connected to your furnace is working correctly. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, making it difficult to detect. When inhaled in large concentrations, it can cause headache, dizziness and even death. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for how often you should replace your detector and check it annually for signs of malfunction, such as faulty electrical connections and loose connection screws in the base plates. Additionally, keep an extra battery for your carbon monoxide detector handy in case of a power outage this winter.
Don’t use your furnace to heat your home.
Before you break out the space heaters and blankets, take a minute to assess your furnace. You may be tempted to use your furnace to supplement your home’s heating in the winter, but this is never a safe idea. Oil and gas furnaces are combustible and emit carbon monoxide if not properly maintained. Before using your furnace, always have it serviced by a licensed professional. In addition, check for warning signs of potential problems with the exhaust and flue systems that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, keep up on routine maintenance tasks such as filter changes, duct cleaning and systems checks to ensure optimal performance and safety. Additionally, you should have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home and smoke detectors so you are alerted if dangerous emissions are present in your living space.
Keep your furnace clean.
Keeping your furnace clean and in good working order is essential to ensure safe operation. Schedule regular maintenance. Ensure that furnace filters are changed regularly, about once every three months. The filter protects the blower motor and other delicate parts of the furnace, ensuring dirt and other particles don’t get into the system and damage it. Regular maintenance will also ensure that your furnace is functioning efficiently, resulting in fewer costly repairs. A professional technician can clean debris inside the unit, replace worn gaskets, lubricate bearings, check to wire and perform many more necessary tasks.
Don’t block ventilation in your furnace.
Your furnace must get plenty of ventilation to operate safely and efficiently. You should never partially or fully block vents, intakes, or the space around the furnace. If the device cannot receive proper ventilation, it will start to overheat and can cause severe damage.
It is also essential furness safety tips to ensure that no debris, such as dust, leaves, or insulation materials, is blocking vents or exhaust systems. This can cause back drafting when carbon monoxide from your furnace is pulled back into your living space. The best way to ensure you’re getting sufficient airflow is to have an annual inspection done on your furnace by a professional who can detect any potential issues before they become a problem and put you or your family in harm’s way.
Be careful when lighting your furnace.
When lighting a furnace, use extreme caution to avoid potential danger. To safely light a furnace, you must first turn off the power supply at the breaker box and ensure it is locked in the “off” position. Inspect the furnace and any gas connections for possible blockage or leaks by using a mixture of soap and water and looking for bubbling areas that may indicate an issue with your connections. If your connections are compromised, or there are blockages, contact a qualified heating technician to assess whether repair or replacement is necessary before future use.
After taking all safety measures, ignite your furnace according to manufacturer instructions. You can turn on the gas valve near the unit and open its door. Follow any additional ignition steps required for your specific unit by referring to its user manual or contacting a professional for assistance. Once lit, monitor your furnace’s performance and watch for signs of flickering flames, flashing pilot lights, unusual odors, or uncharacteristic noises coming from the unit, which could indicate serious issues and need further assessment from an experienced technician.
Don’t overload your furnace.
Important not to overwork your furnace this winter by turning up the thermostat more than is necessary. Doing so can put a strain on your furnace and reduce efficiency, as well as potentially increase energy costs. In addition, if you are using a gas or an oil-fired system, overworking the system could create a risk of carbon monoxide buildup in your home, which is a serious health hazard.
Suppose you are experiencing temperature fluctuations in your home. In that case, you should try adjusting the fan speed first and then double-check that all the components are clean and maintained adequately before making any significant adjustments to the thermostat setting. A professional HVAC technician familiar with your furnace setup can help with any maintenance needs or repairs necessary to keep your furnace running at an optimal level of performance.
Don’t use your furnace if it’s not working correctly.
It’s vital Furness safety tips to ensure that any furnace you use is in good working condition before using it to heat your home. If the furnace is old, check for visible signs of wear and tear and any possible damage from moisture, rodents, or other pests. If it appears that the furnace has deteriorated from its original condition and is no longer in safe working order, discontinue its use immediately.
Additionally, check for blocked vents and filter buildup, which can impede airflow and create potential fire hazards. Remove all dirt, dust and debris from coach surfaces near furnace installation sites. Severe corrosion or rust may indicate a serious problem with your installation or ventilation system that a professional HVAC technician should immediately inspect.
Also, take safety measures when lighting pilot lights on gas furnaces. Do it according to the manufacturer’s instructions in your user manual. Make sure you understand how to turn off the gas supply valves to prevent further damage if there are malfunctions with your heating system.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your furnace.
Whenever possible, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your furnace. To ensure safe operation, it is essential to read the owner’s manual with your particular make and model of furnace. It will contain information about the size of filter media you should use and any special requirements to keep your furnace running safely. This can help prevent problems later in the winter, such as increased energy bills or even a furnace emergency repair call.
In addition to Furness safety tips to following all manufacturer’s instructions, you should also have your furnace professionally inspected yearly by a qualified service technician with specific experience working with your particular brand and model. These inspections can help ensure that you’re getting the best performance from your heating system, preventing costly repairs in the future if something goes go wrong.