Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that more than one out of every 10 ten home house fires are caused by central heating system issues? Heating systems, while necessary for every home, can pose a safety risk if you don’t take necessary precautions. Here are some furnace safety tips we at Efficient Systems suggest you watch out for this winter season!
Step One: Change filters
Just like how your central AC unit has filters that need replacing, so does your furnaceThe same way your central AC unit has filters, your furnace does as well! Allowing debris on your filters to build up and clog over time restricts air flow. If you wait too long, not only are you compromising on your air quality, but you also risk overheating your system. The lack of air flow traps the heat within your heater, which could break down your system completely.
Step Two: Clean surrounding area
One simple yet easily forgotten tip is to clean the area surrounding your furnace. Since many furnaces are located in attics, garages or basements, it is easy to store belongings within the vicinity of your furnace. Some items are highly flammable, however, so it’s important keep your furnace area clear.
Here are a few items we suggest you keep at least a few feet away from your furnace:
- Cardboard boxes
- Storage containers
- Used filters or new filter replacements
Step Three: Change smoke alarm batteries
As mentioned, one of the main risks a fuel-burning furnace can present is a home house fire. The best way to prepare ahead of time for this situation is by changing your smoke alarm batteries. It can be easy to forget about them, but they should be taken seriously. According to the NFPA, around 54% of the smoke alarm failures were due to missing or disconnected batteries. The NFPA recommends changing batteries at least every 6 months.
Step Four: Install carbon monoxide detector
Another potential risk of fuel-burning furnaces is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by any fuel-burning appliances such as gas cookers, boilers and, you guessed it, home furnaces. In the case that your furnace isn’t burning fuel properly or your ventilation system is damaged, there could be a buildup of CO in your home.
If you don’t already have one installed, consider purchasing a carbon monoxide detector. These devices can pick up on high amounts of CO and will warn you so that you can evacuate your home immediately. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inhaling too much CO can cause problems such as:
- Chest pain
Similar to smoke alarm batteries, the CDC suggests changing your CO detector’s batteries at least every 6 months.
Step Five: Schedule regular maintenance from Efficient Systems
Furnaces are delicate and complex systems made of a variety of components. The best way to keep your heating system running safely is by scheduling regular furnace maintenance every year. Our qualified technicians at Efficient Systems will be able to spot any issues that might turn into a safety hazard in time.
Do you have any remaining safety questions related to your furnace? The team members at Efficient Systems. located in Beaumont, Texas are happy to help! Contact us today to learn more about your specific heating system and how to keep it running properly this winter season!