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Furnace Safety Tips

By All-Temp Heating & Cooling

Date Published: February 3, 2023

If your home utilizes a furnace, it is important to understand the operation and proper use. Many turn on their furnace when temperatures drop and allow it to keep your home comfortable until spring. While this can sometimes be successful, furnaces in Staunton require maintenance to perform efficiently and effectively. Furnace systems can emit harmful gasses if not cared for properly, which can harm you and other resident’s health. In this blog, we discuss furnace system basics and tips to keep your home safe.

How Do Furnaces Work?

Furnaces can provide your home with thorough and reliable heat, but have a complex operational process to do so. There are many components that go into generating heat and distributing it throughout your home, and failure of one can affect the whole system. All types of furnaces have similar operational processes, but have different fuel sources. The main types of furnaces are natural gas, propane, oil, and electric.

The furnace operational process begins with a bright blue pilot light igniting the burner. Depending on the fuel source, fuel enters the burner and generates heat. Then, the heat is passed on to the heat exchanger, where cold air is heated. Once warm air is generated, the blower pushes it into the ducts and distributes it throughout your home. This is a simplified process, but continues until the thermostat setting is met.

Can Furnaces Be Dangerous?

Gas furnaces are the most common type of heating system in the United States, and for a good reason! Furnaces can provide many benefits for your Greenville, Virginia home, such as:

  • Fast Heating
  • Affordability
  • Long Lifespan
  • Reliability

However, any system that utilizes gas can make homeowners question safety. Current furnace manufacturers prioritize safety as the top concern, which means the home device is built with a variety of safety features. To simply answer the common question – Yes, gas furnaces are a safe appliance if used and maintained correctly.

Tips To Maintain Furnace Safety

While gas furnaces have many safety protocols in place, it is important to keep the unit safe. Below are six recommendations to maintain a safe and reliable furnace in Augusta County and surrounding areas.

  • Test Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
  • Keep The Area Surrounding The Furnace Clear
  • Regularly Dust And Clean Your Furnace
  • Remove Flammable Or Other Items From The Area
  • Schedule Regular Furnace Maintenance
  • Regularly Change Air Filters

Test Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors

Our customer’s safety is our top priority, which is why we always recommend installing and up keeping home safety devices such as carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Furnaces produce carbon monoxide due to burning fuel, but the gas quickly exits your home and is dispersed outdoors. However, furnaces can malfunction and carbon monoxide can leak. Additionally, accidents can happen and furnace fires can occur. Situations such as these are why we recommend testing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors monthly and replacing batteries as needed. We recommend following EPA requirements when placing home safety devices.

Keep The Area Surrounding The Furnace Clear

It is important to maintain proper ventilation for your furnace to operate effectively. Whether your furnace is located in a closet or a basement, storage and other items should be at least 30 inches away from the unit. Boxes and personal items should never be stacked on top of or touching the furnace, because it can overheat and create a fire hazard.

Regularly Dust And Clean Your Furnace

Similar to keeping the furnace clear from personal items, it is important to ensure your furnace is clean. Not only will lint and dust build up affect air quality throughout your home, but can create a fire hazard as well. We recommend dusting your furnace weekly with a damp rag and vacuuming the surrounding areas. Cleaning inside your furnace can be dangerous and damage other components, so we recommend leaving internal furnace cleaning to an All-Temp technician during maintenance appointments!

Remove Flammable Or Other Items From The Area

While storing items at a safe distance from your furnace is safe, it is important that no items are flammable. Furnace systems can become hot during operation and become a fire hazard to items too close. We recommend storing cleaning supplies elsewhere or in airtight containers. Be mindful of the following items in the same room as your furnace:

  • Gasoline
  • Paint
  • Papers
  • Sawdust
  • Wood Scraps

Additionally, cat litter can harm certain components of your furnace due to the ammonia fumes.

Schedule Regular Furnace Maintenance

The best way to maintain a properly functioning furnace is by having regular maintenance performed by an All-Temp technician. Our technicians can catch underlying issues and prevent future problems from arising. Not only will this process improve factors such as efficiency and air quality, but keep your home safe. We recommend having your furnace inspected at least once a year to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Regularly Change Air Filters

Air filters are one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to maintain a furnace. If the air filters are clogged, the system struggles to push air through and works harder. An overworked furnace can result in a breakdown or damaged component and pose a threat to your safety.

Furnaces are a safe and reliable heating source if cared for properly. Be sure to follow these furnace safety tips to ensure you and other resident’s safety remains. For furnace repairs and installation in Harrisonburg and surrounding areas, give us a call!