You rely on your furnace to keep your home warm and comfortable on long winter nights, but like any fuel-burning appliance, a heater can quickly become dangerous. Gas leaks, carbon monoxide exposure, and house fires are just some of the hazards linked to heating systems. Luckily, many of these problems can be avoided by staying prepared and taking some preventative steps.
The technicians at Bruce Heating & Air are Kennewick’s furnace experts. We’ve provided furnace service for almost 20 years, and in that time, we’ve learned what steps you can take to fully enjoy your heater with safety and comfort.
Here are five steps you can take to protect your home and family from your heating system.
Carbon monoxide leaks are one of the scariest safety threats associated with a malfunctioning furnace. A colorless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide can quickly spread throughout a house undetected. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause headaches, confusion, drowsiness, and, eventually, death. It’s critical that every house with a furnace also has a functioning carbon monoxide detector.
The detector will beep, talk, or otherwise signal when it detects a leak. However, it can only do that if it’s working properly. We recommend testing the carbon monoxide once a month and changing the batteries twice a year. It’s important to have fresh batteries even if your carbon monoxide detector is hardwired into your home’s electrical system. The batteries will ensure you’re protected even in the event of a power outage.
Smoke detectors are life-saving devices that will alert you right away in case of smoke or fire. In the event your furnace catches fire, the detector will notify you ASAP so that you can get yourself and your family to safety. That’s why it’s important that the smoke detector is powered up and always working properly. We recommend testing the smoke detector once a month. Most detectors have a button located on the external case that, when pressed, will initiate the test. You’ll also want to change the batteries every six months to ensure they’re fresh.
Most furnaces use a pilot light or igniter to ignite the gas and generate heat. To reduce the risk of a house fire, keep the area around the heater clear of furniture, rugs, storage boxes, or anything else that’s flammable. This makes it much harder for the pilot light to accidentally ignite nearby objects.
Your furnace contains an air filter that traps harmful particles from the air. Dirt, pet hair, pollen, and even bacteria are just a few of the many contaminants that air filters remove from your indoor air. After a few months, the filter gets clogged and doesn’t work as well as it used to. In fact, it can even damage your furnace by making it harder to circulate air through the vents. You can protect your heater — and your home’s air quality — by changing the air filter once every three months. If you have pets at home, you may want to change it even more often, like once a month.
An annual tune-up provides preventative care for your entire heating system from the furnace itself to the thermostat and ductwork. If there’s anything wrong with the heater, a technician will discover the issue during the maintenance appointment, even if the problem hasn’t started showing major symptoms yet. Tune-ups help prevent many common furnace problems as well as some of the more dangerous issues, like gas leaks and fires. It also gives us a chance to find and fix any problems before they become serious.
Furnaces can be dangerous, but with a little preparation and awareness, you can protect your home and family from the worst hazards. If you suspect there’s something wrong with your heater, let us know right away! You don’t want to take a chance on a fuel-burning appliance like your heater. We’ll send out an expert technician as soon as possible to evaluate your system and determine if anything’s wrong. Bruce Heating & Air is proud to offer repairs, maintenance, and replacements for furnaces and air conditioners. Call us today to schedule your appointment for furnace service!