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Important Gas Furnace Safety Reminders for the Upcoming Winter

natural-gas-furnaceMany people enjoy winter weather, but staying safe through the season still requires having a central heating system in a house. For most families in Colorado Springs, the heater that keeps them warm and safe through the winter is a gas furnace.

Gas furnaces come with their own safety cautions. We want to stress with our customers that gas furnaces are not inherently dangerous. If they were, they would never be allowed in homes at all. But if neglected or used incorrectly, a gas furnace can create deadly combustion and carbon monoxide dangers. Unfortunately, every year someone in Colorado Springs dies due to carbon monoxide poisoning. These tragedies are preventable if you take the right safety precautions.

Have the Furnace Professionally Inspected in Fall

The most important step you can take to keep your furnace working safely is to arrange for professional furnace service in Colorado Springs, CO to inspect the unit in the fall. This is a basic part of regular HVAC maintenance, which is a crucial service we offer through our Residential Energy Savings Agreement. Regular heating maintenance benefits you in several ways, but the safety checks we make are the most critical. If we can’t give your furnace a clean bill of health, we’ll arrange for the repairs to restore it. Or we can schedule a replacement for an old furnace that’s too risky to keep.

Keep the Area Around the Furnace Clear

Your furnace is probably stored in the basement, although homes without basements may have it in a utility closet. It’s tempting to store items around the furnace, but please don’t. You want at least a foot clear around the furnace cabinet, which gets warm when the system is running. Be especially careful about storing anything highly combustible, such as paint thinner, near the furnace. 

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you use natural gas in your home, you must have CO detectors installed in key areas. In the fall, make a check on each of the detectors (they have “test” buttons) to ensure they’re all functioning. For CO detectors that aren’t hardwired into the house, check if they need new batteries. 

Regularly Change the Filter

The furnace filter becomes clogged over time and has to be replaced with a clean one to allow for airflow. But it also needs to be changed for safety reasons, since a clogged filter will trap heat in the furnace and cause it to overheat or even ignite debris inside the filter. 

Always Keep the Front Panel Shut

Do not operate your furnace with its front panel open. This creates a higher risk of CO gas escaping. Your furnace may have a safety feature that won’t allow it to run if the panel is open, but don’t take chances.

Call for Repairs Promptly

If you suspect anything is wrong with the furnace, shut off the gas to the furnace and call us. Even a seemingly simple malfunction could warn of a serious problem such as a cracked heat exchanger. Never delay—it’s not worth it!

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Call for any furnace service you need to stay safe.

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