Winter is coming. Temperatures are dropping and it’s the perfect time to give your home heating system some extra love and care! Follow these essential furnace safety tips to ensure that your system is in good working condition, and will keep you and your family safe and warm this winter.
HVAC and Furnace Safety for the Whole Family
Your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is intricately designed to provide a comfortable living space all year round and although it’s every homeowner’s dream to stay warm without any issues, these systems do not operate without risk. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your furnace is operating safely and avoid costly repairs.
Whether your home heating system uses oil, propane, natural gas or geothermal, taking some time to refresh your furnace safety skills will ensure it remains a source of comfort instead of a potential risk. Here are some of our top tips to ensure the safe operation of your furnace all winter long.
Your Furnace Safety Checklist
- Keep Fuel Tanks and Fuel Lines Safe
If your heating system operates on fuel, there are few extra precautions you can take. Ensure the fuel lines are encased in a protective conduit, and check your fuel lines and tanks periodically for evidence of leaks or oil stains. It’s also helpful to know your tank’s storage volume, as a decrease in volume can indicate a leak or condensation inside the tank.
- Remove Clutter
Throughout the summer when the furnace isn’t running, the space around it may become an extra storage zone. As winter approaches and your furnace starts operating, the outer surface will heat up and it becomes essential to clear the area around your furnace. Keep flammable items at least three feet away from your furnace and leave a clear path in case you need to access it in an emergency.
- Keep Ventilation Clear
One of the top furnace safety tips is to make sure exhaust vents and air intakes are kept clear of debris. This allows consistent air flow, keeping you warm without the risk of indoor air pollution. Check your exhaust vents regularly and keep them clear of obstructions. Remove leaves and snow from exhaust vents on the roof and keep indoor vents open so that air can circulate. Be sure to remove any debris or build up from intake pipes as well.
- Keep Your Furnace Safe this Winter – Change your Filters
A simple maintenance step that you can do yourself is to ensure your filters are cleaned or changed regularly. To ensure your furnace is operating safely, change disposable filters or clean permanent ones every 1-3 months. For more on this, consult your owner’s manual or have a look at our blog about different types of furnace filters.
- Ensure the Thermostat is Working Correctly
Prioritizing furnace safety means testing all of its mechanical parts. Check your thermostat by adjusting the temperature settings, and ensuring the furnace shuts on and off accordingly.
- Make Sure All Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are in Top Condition
Part of your HVAC safety checklist should always be to ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are up-to-date and working well. It’s a good idea to change the batteries every six months. Place a smoke detector next to the furnace, so that you’ll know about a fire right away, and be sure to test these alarms regularly. As an extra precaution, you can check the pilot light to make sure it’s burning an even blue flame. An uneven flame can be an indication of incomplete gas combustion, which can lead to the production of carbon monoxide.
- Schedule Regular Maintenance with a Professional
One of our most important furnace safety tips is to schedule regular maintenance. When furnaces are properly designed and installed well, they will operate safely for years. Having your system checked annually by a skilled HVAC professional will keep you safe, lower your winter heating costs, prevent costly breakdowns, and extend the life of your furnace.
At Ashton, we’re here to help you get the most out of your HVAC system and stop issues before they start. Reach out for all your furnace safety needs, we’d love to help!