February is known as one of the coldest months, having dreadfully low temperatures. Every homeowner is likely using their furnace 24/7 right now, and rightfully so. However, there are certain safety risks that come with keeping your home warm for the winter.
Furnaces need regular upkeep to ensure they are working properly and functioning safely. Below are a few simple precautions that you can take to ensure a comfortable, safe home for you and your family!
Pull Out The Vacuum
Dust and lint build-up in your furnace can become a fire hazard if not properly cleaned. We urge you to help limit the risk of a fire by vacuuming in and around your furnace.
Certain types of furnaces may require you to clean inside burner compartments. You can refer to the maintenance instruction in your owner manual for more details on cleaning your furnace.
Keep The Area Around The Furnace Open
On the subject of fire hazards, you should avoid storing anything too close to the furnace, especially flammable items. We recommend keeping items a few feet away, as anything near the furnace instantly becomes a hazard.
Some flammable items to be mindful of include: clothes, blankets, cardboard boxes, paper, paint, and paint thinners.
Additionally, we advise you to keep kitty liter away from your furnace. Many homeowners aren’t aware that the ammonia fumes can potentially cause corrosion on your furnace’s heat exchanger.
Replace The Filter
It’s no secret that filters help keep your furnace running efficiently. Changing your filter also helps reduce the chance of your furnace malfunctioning and requiring repair. The last thing you want is a furnace breakdown in the dead of winter!
You should be replacing your furnace filter every one to two months. You may need to change it more frequently if there are any pets or smokers in your home.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Furnace malfunctions can be the source of carbon monoxide leaks. This is often an unseen risk associated with fuel-burning appliances. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas and is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned. Every year, over 50,000 people visit the emergency room due to accidental CO poisoning in the United States. These leaks can be fatal and are unable to be identified by human scent.
We strongly urge you to check all of the carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure they are working properly. We also recommend changing the batteries in them yearly.
Scheduling a yearly maintenance check with a professional technician is an essential part of owning a furnace. During these checks, the technician can identify any potential problems with your furnace and do preventative maintenance.
On top of an annual maintenance check, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any pressing concerns. It’s better to be cautious and guarantee your family’s safety than to brush off any uneasiness.
We hope you feel at ease knowing you help create a safer environment in your home after following the tips above. Have a warm February!