Many of us take our furnaces for granted. As long as we flip the switch and the house gets warmer, we assume all is well. However, your furnace room should be high on your home maintenance priority list as not only is your furnace performing an important service but also could become dangerous if not cared for properly.
Here are some furnace safety do’s and don’ts to help keep your furnace operating efficiently.
Allow for Air Flow
Your furnace and water heater are powered by electricity as well as fuels that require proper ventilation. With this in mind, use these tips to ensure your furnace has plenty of airflow:
Clear the floor and area around your furnace of debris and dust.
Clear away stored items in your furnace room, especially around air intakes and vents.
Remove anything that is leaning against your furnace, or that is stored close enough that it could fall over onto the furnace.
Dispose of used filters right away so they aren’t just lying on the floor or near the furnace.
Find a New Spot for Kitty Litter
It is not uncommon for your basement to be used for the kitty litter box. It keeps it out of sight and out of mind. However, if you store your kitty litter box too close to your furnace, not only can the odour be sucked into the furnace and carried up into your home, but the ammonia fumes can actually corrode the heat exchanger.
Reduce Fire Risk
Your furnace can lead to fires if not cared for properly. Use these tips to reduce the risk of furnace-related accidents:
Your household is full of combustibles products including those with low flash points like gasoline, paint and paint thinners. These items should never be stored near your furnace.
Cleaning products: If your furnace is near your laundry area, keep your laundry products away from the furnace. In fact, all cleaning products should be stored separate from the furnace room.
Air-dried laundry: Do not hang laundry (or coats, clothing and linens) near your furnace as it can reduce airflow and cause your furnace to overheat.
Schedule regular furnace maintenance every fall so everything is working efficiently.
Keep it Well Lit
Furnace rooms are often poorly lit. However, when you have to check the furnace or have a maintenance appointment scheduled, you need proper lighting. You should also keep a flashlight in your furnace room with a rechargeable battery so you can always reach it easily during a power outage.
Furnace maintenance includes your own inspections, as well as regular professional maintenance appointments. For optimum furnace safety follow these steps:
- Set a reminder on your phone to replace furnace filters every month to three months.
- When replacing your filter do a quick once over of your furnace to look for any signs of rust.
- Listen for any unusual noises coming from your furnace.
- Schedule annual fall maintenance appointments so your furnace is ready to go when the temperature dips.
These do’s and don’ts will help with furnace safety while also helping to keep your home warm all winter long. Contact us to set up your furnace maintenance appointment.