Keep Your Home Warm and Safe with These Furnace Safety Tips

Keep Your Home Warm and Safe with These Furnace Safety TipsIf you have a gas furnace in your home, you probably know it’s a relatively safe appliance to operate. However, because it produces heat through the combustion process, there are some hazards to be aware of.

Here are some tips for maintaining furnace safety.

Gas Furnace Hazards

Gas furnace hazards can include leaking gas or carbon monoxide. The former can lead to hypoxia and unconsciousness or explosions and fire when sufficient quantities of gas leak into an enclosed space. Carbon monoxide can result in poisoning, leading to serious illness and death.

The gas can leak from loose fittings, the exhaust flue and other gas connection areas. Carbon monoxide is usually leaked when the heat exchanger cracks.

While you can smell the mercaptan that is added to natural gas, you cannot smell CO. Besides the smell, signs of gas leaks are hissing sounds, dead vegetation and a whitish powder on the grass in an outdoor leak.

The best way to detect a CO leak is by installing several CO monitors throughout the house, particularly near bedrooms.

If you have a newer furnace, it may have safety features that prevent operation when there’s a problem such as a gas leak, but older furnaces might not have this feature.

Preventing Gas Leaks

Have your furnace checked each year before you turn it on, and tell your HVAC tech you’d like an inspection for cracks in the heat exchanger, and leaks in the exhaust flue. Also, ask your HVAC tech if your furnace has any safety features that cut off operation in case of a fuel leak.

You should also:

  • Remove obstructions from around the furnace area.
  • Avoid operating the furnace without the front-panel door in place, or you could risk CO poisoning.
  • Keep combustible substances such as solvents away from the furnace.
  • Prevent heat buildup in the furnace by keeping registers open in the home.

For more on furnace safety, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We serve Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658. 

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