In every home sits a quiet furnace that helps keep the indoors warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But without some oversight and maintenance, your furnace can become a hazard for your household. Here are three furnace safety tips you should be utilizing:
Test Your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
One of the most alarming threats your home faces is a carbon monoxide leak in the furnace. Because carbon monoxide can't be seen or smelled, you need to be able to rely on properly functioning carbon monoxide detectors within your home. And if your furnace creates a fire, your smoke alarms will be the first sign of trouble.
Take the time to inspect and test each smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector throughout your home every couple of months. Visually check each one to make sure that all the components are there and properly installed. Test the carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms by simply pushing the small test buttons on them – you should hear a high pitched noise from each one that is working correctly.
Regularly Change Your Furnace's Filter
While changing a furnace's filter is easy, the task is often overlooked by homeowners because the filter is typically hidden inside the furnace and isn't often seen. A clean filter is crucial for a healthy household, as it will help keep dust from building up inside your furnace and being circulated throughout your home via the air registers. You should find that a clean filter helps keep your furnace running efficiently throughout the year too, which can save you some money on your energy bills each month.
You should find the filter right inside the front cover of the furnace. Just take it out and replace it with a new one from the local home improvement or hardware store. The user's manual that came with your furnace will provide you with the exact specifications of the filters you should be buying and using.
Invest in Professional Inspections and Tune-ups
In addition to completing the do-it-yourself maintenance tasks, it's important to schedule a yearly professional inspection and tune-up to minimize health risks and optimize furnace safety for your household. Your service provider will look for problem areas and address them before they become too serious. You can expect them to:
Check your vent system for inconsistencies and leaks.
Inspect and repair or replace the heat exchanger if necessary.
Ensure that the blower access door is properly sealed.
Lubricate all of the furnace's moving parts for enhanced performance.
Your service technician will also ensure that there are no blockages in the system so the furnace doesn't have to work overtime when it's in use. Contact local HVAC services for more information and assistance.