Usually, our furnaces do an excellent job keeping us cozy and safe during the winter, provided they are running correctly and everyone is being safe around them. However, when it comes to any sort of fuel-burning appliance, like a home heating system, problems can arise that can pose health and safety concerns if we don’t understand certain standard safety precautions and keep up on preventative maintenance.
As such, we encourage homeowners to keep their homes as safe as possible this winter by checking out a list of simple furnace safety tips that we at Mason Heating & Air composed.
Keeping Your Warren County, Ohio, Area Home Safe This Winter!
Replace Air Filters
Dirty air filters can block or curb airflow, which is essential to a furnace’s health and lifespan. If furnace air filters become obstructed with particles collected from the air, the stress it adds to your the HVAC system is harmful; it forces the furnace to have to work needlessly to keep the home warm. This also makes the system more apt to develop a carbon monoxide leak while, at the same time, enabling dirt to gather on the furnace’s components and systems. On top of the obvious safety risk, this also often leads to expensive efficiency problems while reducing the system’s lifespan. As such, it is crucial to check your furnace’s air filter at least once a month during the winter and change it nearly as often. If you have a reusable filter, wash it regularly.
Keep Safe Zone Around Furnace
Keeping an understood “safe zone” around your furnace, or home heating system, greatly reduces the chances of a house fire. As a sort of rule of thumb, most pros suggest keeping this open space of several feet around your furnace on all sides. So it goes without saying you should not store anything close to the unit, such as boxes, drapes or blankets. This is especially true of fuel sources or paint or chemicals or anything flammable.
Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Considered a silent killer, carbon monoxide gas leaks are among the most serious safety risks homeowners face during the winter, if not the most serious next to house fires. During the winter, carbon monoxide leaks are usually caused by furnace malfunctions. Because of this, on top of keeping up with furnace maintenance, we urge homeowners to go around the house and test all carbon monoxide detectors. Heading into the colder months, it’s imperative to guarantee they are all (each and every one) fully operational and ready to go. If the batteries in any of these detectors are old or if you aren’t sure how old they are, you should go ahead and change them to be on the safe side.
Test Smoke Alarms
As we touched on in the latter, home heating systems are all-too-often the reason for many home fires. Being cautious of this, once you’ve checked all your carbon monoxide detectors, you should test all your home’s smoke detectors. As homeowners, we know we need to do this every year. Yet despite this, far too many of us have to be reminded. While testing them, remember to install new batteries as needed.
Establish Firm Household Furnace Safety Rules
This suggestion is particularly important for those who have family, and especially kids, in the home. If you have not done so already, it’s important to get everyone on the same page with a firm set of household furnace safety rules to abide by this winter. You can include many of the items discussed here. Post the rules, in fact, and make sure children understand not to play anywhere near the furnace, or any other heater or source of heat for that matter. Reviewing the rules and guidelines together will ensure everyone understands the rules and knows exactly what to do in an emergency situation, like a home fire. Also make sure everyone knows where the shutoff valve is for the gas for homeowners who use gas furnaces.
Don’t Forget Furnace Maintenance
Among the many blessings that come with a furnace tune-up, there’s nothing like having a certified HVAC technician examine all the components of your system to test for potential problems and see if everything is running safely and efficiently going into the winter. During a preventative maintenance visit, we explore for all types of issues, especially checking heat exchangers in search of cracks and electrical components for frayed, burnt, or damaged wiring. We are diligent in looking for safety hazards and by enrolling in this worthwhile service, you can enjoy lower heating bills, peace-of-mind and confidence in your home heating system this winter.
Call Us If You Ever Have Issues!
You should never take any risks with any sort of fuel-burning appliance such as a furnace or heater or any home heating system. It’s important to stay on the safe side. Should anything arise, do not hesitate to call us here at Mason Heating & Air, especially if you have any questions about your home heating system or need any service. If you have any questions regarding our list of furnace safety tips, or if you’d like your furnace checked, call Mason Heating & Air at 513-496-2477, or schedule an appointment right now by clicking here!