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Furnace Safety in the Winter

Furnace Safety

Here in the Northwest, temperatures tend to stay low straight into early spring. So yes, it’s time to turn up the heat! Heating your home is key to a healthy, happy home this time of year. But heating your home can also be incredibly dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken — especially in regard to furnace safety. People don’t usually associate house fires with the winter, but because are often cranking their furnaces during this time of the year, accidents can happen and fires can break out. So here are our tips on furnace safety to make sure your home is both warm and safe through the chilly months of the year.

How do I know my furnace is safe?

During the summer months it is normal for a furnace to collect dust. The first time you turn your furnace on this dust will burn causing a distinct smell. Don’t worry — this is normal. The dust burns quickly and the smell should go away in a short amount of time. If strange smells continue to occur shut off the heater and consult a professional. You should always be able to reach the shut off valve for your furnace.

During the winter, however, be very aware of the odors you are smelling near your furnace. Be aware of the smell of gas, as leaky valves or pipes can be incredibly dangerous. If you do notice an odor, contact your gas company right away. If their number isn’t handy, don’t hesitate to dial 911 — furnace safety shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Furnace safety starts with detectors

Every floor of your home should have at least one smoke detector and one carbon monoxide detector. Make sure to test that these devices are working every month. If they are battery operated, always keep the correct type of battery used for the detectors on hand. The average lifespan of a smoke detector is around 10 years — after this period of time, the alarm may still sound when tested but may not be able to detect smoke. Either replace these detectors or test them with a smoke generating device.

Also, try not to use aerosols inside your home during the winter months when your furnace is in use. Especially do not store aerosols close to the furnace. Aerosols such as hairspray are extremely flammable and can catch fire quickly. If you must use an aerosol product make sure you air your house out properly afterwards.

Change your filter to ensure furnace safety

Furnace SafetyEvery month you need to change or clean your furnace’s filter. This simple, but easily forgotten task will help ensure that your furnace doesn’t overheat from being clogged by dirt. When you turn your furnace on, make sure to clear clutter and household objects away from the heater. It is important to not have anything flammable touching or stored next to the furnace. That includes garbage, laundry, and anything else that might easily become a fire hazard.

Leave furnace cleaning and repair to professionals

The most important step you can take to ensure furnace safety is to schedule a professional yearly inspection. During the inspection your furnace will be tested to assure that it is burning properly. The professional will look at the furnaces filter, thermostat, electrical components, air flow, air fuel mixture and most importantly the heater exchanger for cracks. Carbon monoxide is released into your home at dangerous levels when a crack is formed in the heater exchanger.

As this winter comes to a close, everyone here at OHI Construction sends wishes of warmth and safety to you and your family. If you have any questions or emergency concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch — we are always on call.

1 Comment
  1. This makes a construction demolition site an extremely dangers place full of possible accidents waiting to happen.

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