Easy Furnace Safety Tips
We all tend to be a bit spoiled when it comes to the comfort of our homes during the winter months. A cozy and warm living room is something we expect on cold days. That being said, your furnace – when working properly – plays a major role in the overall health and safety of your home.
From keeping the home warm to providing clean air quality, your furnace needs the right attention and care throughout the year to stay working properly. Winter months mean the furnace is working overtime. To ensure it's efficient and operating at its best, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to help out.
Stay on Top of Furnace Maintenance
Furnace maintenance throughout the year is imperative. Have a furnace professional do a full assessment of your unit once a year at a minimum.
In the meantime, you can do a series of checks yourself from checking and changing air filters, ensuring vents are unblocked, checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and keeping the general cleanliness of the area in tip top shape. DIY furnace maintenance is easy to do and well worth the effort to avoid the possibility of a need for large repairs or replacement of the furnace.
Keep Air Filters Fresh
Keeping your air filters in the home clean and replaced regularly is the key to keeping the air quality at its peak and a great way to avoid any damage to your system. As part of regular HVAC and furnace maintenance, change your air filters to avoid any issues. Air filters have one main job – to trap all of the accumulated dust, dirt, and other particles.
A fresh filter keeps the air quality in your home at its best, and the risk of any clogging or blockage plummets. Change the filter every one to three months with increased frequency during the winter season. If you live in a dusty area, you may need to change your filter more frequently.
Clean and Unblock Supply and Return Vents
Keeping the air flow running openly and freely is imperative to the proper safety and functioning of your furnace. Check the supply and return vents on your furnace and make sure they are clear and unblocked.
Don’t forget to check the exterior exhaust and air intake areas as well. These exhaust areas may become blocked during unseasonal weather or storms, which can lead to an expensive furnace malfunction.
Keep the Area Around the Furnace Clean
The area surrounding the furnace should be kept clear and clean. Clutter can cause danger, such as fires or injuries, and can impact the efficiency or operation of your system. This can be easily avoided by removing any clutter from the area. Keep a clear space of around two feet or more where the furnace rests.
Next, make sure the area is free of any dirt, dust, or buildup that can cause any problems. Using a vacuum, you can easily remove any dust and debris that may tend to settle in the area on a regular basis. Equally important, remove any flammable chemicals or products away from the furnace. A gas furnace plus flammable chemicals can equal a home disaster in the form of a fire or explosion.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regularly
Though rare, a furnace fire can destroy your home quickly. Avoid this by keeping your home protected with the use of properly working smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on every floor of the home and do the proper maintenance to ensure batteries are fully charged and working throughout the year.
Another danger in the home is carbon monoxide, which can be caused by fumes from household appliances. This odorless gas is extremely dangerous and can cause illness or death. A carbon monoxide alarm can alert you of the presence of this poisonous gas so you can evacuate and get the problem fixed. Again, do regular checks and maintenance of the alarm to make sure batteries are charged and working, and install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.
Furnace Safety Means Home Safety
Furnace safety may not sound like the most exciting way to spend a few hours on a weekend, but these precautions are an easy way to help keep your home a safe place year round. With DIY furnace maintenance as a homeowner and annual furnace maintenance from an HVAC professional, you can keep your family and home safe and sound.
About the Proskill Team
Established in 2008 by brothers Travis and Tyler, Proskill Plumbing was born from a family of tradesmen. The Proskill team is highly qualified, trained, and certified in countless home repairs including furnace maintenance and repair. Each team member proudly exudes a strong work ethic and integrity alongside the professional skills to provide quality repairs on any home.