The cold season is coming to Kannapolis, North Carolina, and soon your furnace will be working hard to keep your home warm. Before the cold weather arrives, you should have its safety in mind. Here are five things you can do right now to make your furnace safer.
Clear the Area Around Your Furnace
Furnaces obviously give off heat, and you can minimize fire hazards by keeping anything flammable at least three feet away from the unit. Designate this area a “safety zone” and keep it clear of objects like newspapers, rags, cleaning supplies, and toys.
Make sure children know to stay out of the safety zone around the furnace at all times, even when they’re playing. Regularly vacuuming the safety zone can prevent dust and lint from becoming a fire hazard.
Clean or Replace Furnace Filters
Filters keep your furnace working safely and efficiently. To allow air to flow properly through your furnace, it’s important to clean or replace the furnace filters. A clogged filter makes your furnace work harder, increasing the chance of a carbon monoxide leak. A buildup of debris could also create a safety issue with internal furnace parts.
Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning or replacing furnace filters, and be sure to have several on hand during the winter season. Ideally, filters should be cleaned or replaced once a month during the North Carolina winter season.
Schedule an Annual Inspection
When cold weather arrives, you need your furnace to be ready. Annual inspection and maintenance on your furnace unit can detect problems like a cracked heat exchanger or frayed electrical wires. Correcting problems during annual maintenance prevents emergencies during the cold winter months.
Older furnaces may require more frequent inspection and/or maintenance, while newer, more modern models typically give homeowners fewer problems. A tailored preventative maintenance plan for your furnace unit will ensure it will work reliably for years to come. Be sure to get a professional heating company to carry out your annual inspection and maintenance. This will ensure your furnace gets the care it deserves.
Check Heat Registers for Obstructions
Take a look to make sure nothing is blocking the heat registers in your home. Curtains, furniture, or other objects shouldn’t be covering heat registers. For your furnace to heat your home properly, heat should be able to freely escape from the registers.
Heat registers can get hot, so keeping them clear prevents fire hazards. A blocked heat register also reduces the efficiency of your furnace by restricting airflow, making it difficult for the furnace to heat your home properly.
Don’t forget to vacuum on and around your heat registers. Not only will this prevent fire hazards, it also improves your indoor air quality by keeping dust from circulating in your home.
Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
A carbon monoxide detector is an important device for making your home safer. Carbon monoxide gas is colorless, odorless, and potentially deadly. Small amounts of carbon monoxide are regularly produced by your furnace and are safely carried out of the house through your vent system. If your furnace develops a leak, or when it is forced to work harder than usual, carbon monoxide can escape into your house.
Testing your detector to ensure it works properly is important for your family’s safety. It is recommended you test your detector monthly, but consider increasing this frequency during the cold months when your furnace will be working its hardest.
Often, a carbon monoxide detector can be tested with the press of a button. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test your detector. If you change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector, be sure to test it immediately to ensure the device works properly.
By taking a few simple steps right now, your furnace will heat your home safely and reliably. Think ahead to prevent safety hazards, and you’ll not only improve the safety of your furnace, but its efficiency as well.
When it’s time for annual maintenance and inspection, ensure your furnace gets the care it needs by calling the professionals at Ross & Witmer at 704-392-6188, or visit us online to learn more about our comprehensive heating services.