A gas furnace is an exceptionally good way to heat your home, but safety is paramount when using an appliance that burns combustible fuel. Use these guidelines to prepare your home and family for the heating season when you’re constantly using your gas furnace.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and place them at eye level 10 to 15 feet away from any gas-burning appliance, including the furnace. Place the first detector by the master bedroom, away from any bathrooms, since humidity interferes with their operation. If you have detectors already, check the batteries monthly. CO detectors use more battery power than smoke detectors. Even plug-in or hardwired detectors may have battery backups.
- Inspect our furnace filter once a month and replace it when it appears clogged with dust or debris. The filter protects the furnace blower, and a clogged filter will impede airflow. This can cause the heat exchanger to overheat, which can cause cracks. If your heat exchanger has cracks, it will emit CO or just stop working, forcing you to either replace the furnace or the part, which is a very costly repair.
- Have the gas furnace cleaned and maintained annually by a reliable HVAC contractor. Besides cleaning the equipment, the technician will check the system for safety, including detecting gas and CO leaks. The service call will include checking your flue to be sure that it’s not blocked or has holes. The technician will oil the motor and make sure that the belt is properly adjusted.
- Show your family members old enough to be responsible where to shut the gas valve off for your home. Teach them what residential natural gas smells like and instruct them to never turn anything off or on if they smell it indoors. Keep the emergency number for your gas provider near a phone or tell your family members to call 911 should they smell it. Find a neighbor willing to help your children if you’re not at home.
If you’d like more information about gas furnace safety and maintenance, contact Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We’ve provided quality HVAC and plumbing services to the Indianapolis area for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).