The winter months can be tough on your furnace. When you have a system that is working as it should, the cold isn’t so bad. But when your furnace starts to malfunction and break down, life gets much more difficult. If you want your home to stay warm through the colder months, then follow these sixteen tips for keeping your furnace running smoothly!
– Do not place anything on your furnace vents. This can cause the heat exchanger to become blocked and damaged, which will lead to big problems down the road when you need it most during a cold snap in January!
– Be sure that any combustible materials are at least three feet away from all open flames or heating elements. Combustibles include wood, paper, and some fabrics.
– If you have pets, keep them away from any heating equipment. Pets love curling up next to radiators so they don’t get chilly, but it’s also very dangerous for them if their fur gets caught in moving parts of the machinery.
– Make sure no flammable liquids are anywhere near your furnace. This includes gasoline, paint thinner, and other dangerous chemicals that aren’t meant for home or office use.
– If you have a fire starting in the basement due to faulty wiring, don’t enter the basement when the system is up and running. At full power, furnaces can reach up to 2000 degrees and can potentially cause death—instead, contact professionals who know how to deal with the situation.
– Clean out any lint from vents on both dryers and clothes washers before using them again after the winter months. Lint build-up causes fires every year because most homes have one dryer vent and see a massive lint build-up every year.
– Keep your furnace filter clean at all times so the unit doesn’t have to work harder than it should to distribute heat throughout your home or office space! This means changing filters every month since they clog up quickly, especially during allergy season when everything is covered with dust!
– If you’re using an oil-fired system, then schedule a professional cleaning service twice per year—before winter hits and again just before summer months begin. Cleaning helps remove sediment build-up that occurs over time, leading to inefficient performance and potential safety hazards. You may also want this done before winter starts to address any potential issues before they become bigger problems.
– Invest in a good carbon monoxide detector, and make sure you test it every month! Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, so even if your furnace isn’t giving off signs of malfunctioning, a carbon monoxide leak can negatively affect your health. Make sure everyone at home knows where these detectors are located. Since CO poisoning symptoms mimic other illnesses like the flu or common cold, they are difficult to diagnose!
– Keep all flammable liquids away from heating appliances just for extra safety precautions. This includes gasoline, kerosene lamps, paint, varnish, and other chemicals that are not appropriate for the home.
– If you have a gas furnace, never use it if there is any odor or signs of leakage. You should also make sure your company does annual tune-ups, including inspecting connections for leaks and looking at possible blockage issues with vents.
– Keep track of how much oil or natural gas you’re using monthly to stay on top of potential leakages (natural gas) or overuse (oil). Leakage will cause your bills to skyrocket, and overuse could lead to a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide, so it’s best to keep an eye on these things!
-If you have radiators in your home, never block them off because this can cause the heat exchanger to crack, which is extremely dangerous. You should also periodically check for any leaks or cracks and make sure that pets are not allowed near those vents since their fur could get caught within moving parts, causing potential injury.
-Ensure all electrical switches around heating systems (including light dimmers) are turned off if there are any ongoing repairs. Also, make sure everyone at home knows where these switches are located since they can be easy to miss!
– Never use flammable liquids near the furnace itself, including gasoline or kerosene lamps. This should already go without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know this, so it’s worth mentioning just in case!
– If your furnace is gas-powered, never try to fix anything yourself since this can be dangerous! Gas heaters are susceptible, so if something goes wrong with them, turn off all switches, let everything cool down completely, and call a professional as soon as possible to avoid injury or worse.
The list goes on and on. You can take care of your furnace in more ways than one. Just make sure that you schedule a professional inspection now and then to make sure everything is working as it should.