Gas furnaces are probably the most common types of heating systems being used in American homes today. Like any system that combines fire and flammable gas, there are potential dangers in operating a gas furnace. Here are some of the more notable safety considerations to keep in mind so that your gas furnace stays well maintained, in good operating condition, and safe to use.
- Beware of carbon monoxide: Any gas furnace or other piece of equipment that burns fuel can generate carbon monoxide as a byproduct of fuel combustion. Carbon monoxide is an extremely dangerous gas that humans cannot see, smell or taste. Make sure your gas furnace is properly vented to the outdoors and that there are no carbon monoxide leaks anywhere in the system. Install carbon monoxide detectors near every bedroom and at each end of your house to protect all residents.
The best protection is afforded by low-level CO monitors that will alarm you when the problem is first detected. These are much more sensitive than less expensive CO monitors found at home centers and hardware stores.
- Call for regular preventive maintenance: An annual preventive maintenance routine will keep your gas furnace operating at its best level of performance and safety. Your technician will be able to spot potential dangers and fix them before they become major trouble. He will be able to tune up any of the dangerous areas, such as pilot lights, gas connections and other areas that could become a hazard. He will also be able to test for gas or carbon monoxide leaks.
- Strategically place gas meters and shutoff switches: Make sure gas meters and shut-offs are installed in the open where they can be reached easily. If you need to turn off the gas in an emergency, you don't want to be struggling to reach the shutoff switch or wondering where it is. Be sure to familiarize all family members where these important valves are located and how they work before you need to act in an emergency!
- Change the filter: Check the filter in your furnace monthly and change it if it's dirty. Otherwise, change filters every one to three months (or whatever the manufacturer recommends). Clean filters keep furnaces working well.
With 75 years of experience in the HVAC industry, P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling is a major provider of expert HVAC sales, maintenance and repair services in the Greater Cleveland area. Contact us today for more information on operating a gas furnace and how to maintain one safely.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.