With the end of summer comes holidays, warm drinks, and cooler weather. When the temperature drops, the furnace is turned on, and your home becomes a place of warmth and comfort. However, lurking beneath that comfort are potential hidden dangers. A furnace is a relatively safe piece of equipment, but it’s not without risks. By taking the following safety tips into account, you can enjoy your winter without putting you or your family at risk.
1. Schedule Regular Inspections
As a furnace ages, its parts can begin to wear down and not work as they should. This can lead to malfunctions that could potentially start a fire or release harmful carbon monoxide into your home. Having regular inspections done by a trained HVAC professional like those at Air Express, LLC is the best way to prevent this from happening.
Right after summer ends is the perfect time to have your furnace looked over so that it’s good to go for the cold season. Your technician will inspect the system for problems and do a thorough cleaning as well. Don’t try to save money here and do it yourself; a lot of house fires are started because of this very error.
2. Clean Your Furnace After Summer
It’s a good idea to have your furnace completely cleaned before winter begins. Over the summer, chances are high that dirt, lint, and other debris made their way into your furnace and HVAC system. This buildup can make your furnace run less efficiently and can become a fire hazard if left for too long. Vacuuming out your furnace once monthly prevents fires and other hazards. Instructions for this can be found in your manual, or you can call a professional to do the cleaning for you.
3. Be Mindful of What You Store in the Basement
There should be plenty of room for your furnace to “breathe.” Nothing should be shoved up against the furnace or within 10 to 15 feet of the unit. Anything flammable is particularly important to keep away. This includes objects such as:
- Paint cans
- Old wood
- Household cleaners and chemicals
- Cardboard boxes
If your furnace room serves more than one purpose, make sure it’s clean and well organized.
4. Keep the Air Flowing in Your Home
For your furnace to function as it should, the airflow in your house needs to be good. Make sure all registers and vents in your residence are uncovered and opened. Without proper airflow, your furnace will have to work harder. This will raise your energy bills, cause the machine to have a shorter lifespan, and possibly lower the oxygen levels in your home.
5. Check That Alarms Are Functioning Properly
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms help protect you and your family in the rare instance something goes wrong. Make sure all alarms within your property are working and properly installed. Fresh batteries should be installed as well. You should have these detectors on each level of your home, including near the furnace for immediate warning of danger.
6. Change Filters Regularly
The filter on your furnace is a lot like the lint filter in your dryer. They both catch dirt, lint, and other debris. When dirty, they reduce the efficiency of the system. They can be major fire hazards as well. All the particles caught by your filter are flammable and, as such, should be cleaned out about once a month during the winter.
7. Keep Everyone on the Same Page
If you have children, keep them safe by teaching them furnace safety. Have set rules like no playing or taking toys around the furnace. It’s important that they’re aware of the potential dangers around the heating system, like burning themselves on it while playing. Simple ground rules set ahead of time will help keep everyone safe.
Remaining safe around your furnace is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or taxing. At Air Express, LLC, we’re proud to provide the greater Tampa area with top-notch HVAC services. From furnace and AC installation and repair services to indoor air quality services, we offer a bit of everything to help serve your needs. Call us today and ask us about our HVAC maintenance packages. Our packages are a great way to increase the safety of your heating system!