A gas furnace provides one of the most efficient, cost effective and safest ways you can heat your home. But keep in mind that you’re dealing with an appliance that uses a combustible fuel, so there are a few safety considerations to keep in mind.
Here are a few safety tips if you’re using a gas furnace:
- Always install a carbon monoxide detector at least 15 feet away from your furnace, and at eye level. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, deadly gas that is undetectable by scent. It rises, so it’s important to install a detector about 5 feet above the floor and away from bathrooms so the humidity levels cannot interfere with its reading. It’s best to install them near bedrooms, as well, so that they can wake you and your loved ones from a deep slumber, if necessary.
- Avoid spraying any flammable aerosols in your house during winter months. However, if it is unavoidable, shut down your furnace first, and open a door or window until the gas has dissipated. Also, this may seem an obvious one, but do not store any flammable material near the furnace.
- Make sure that you know where your gas meter and incoming shut-off valve are located, so that you can access them easily if necessary. Bear in mind that gas utility technicians also will need access, so try to its location clear from clutter and furniture.
- Contact your gas-service provider immediately if you smell any unusual odors. If you cannot find the number, or if you think it could be an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- Change your air filters regularly, ideally every four to eight weeks. This defends against premature furnace wear, as it’s not working overtime to push air through clogs. Dirty filters can impede the air flow over the heat exchanger within the furnace, which can lead to overheating. Cracks can form in the heat exchanger over time, emitting dangerous carbon monoxide and causing an illegal health risk.
- Arrange annual checkups for your gas furnace. During these preventive-maintenance visits, your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor will inspect the flue, heat exchanger and thermostat, and ensure you have no air leaks around your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about gas furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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