Temperatures have begun dropping, which means that you’re going to need your furnace to keep you warm and safe this winter season, especially here in Chicago. Because you’ll be depending so heavily on your furnace, it’s important that you keep the following seven safety tips in mind:
- Have your furnace inspected once a year – An annual inspection can help prevent potential safety issues. A professional furnace repair technician will do a thorough inspection to make sure the furnace is functioning as efficiently, effectively and safely as possible. They will also make repairs as necessary as well as clean and lube the furnace’s components to help prevent potential problems from occurring in the future.
- Keep the area around your furnace clear – Because the furnace can get quite hot when it’s running, it’s important that you keep the area around the furnace clear of any obstructions. Anything that’s too close could end up catching fire. Additionally, take extra precaution to make sure nothing combustible is anywhere near the furnace.
- Test your carbon monoxide detectors – Your furnace produces a certain amount of carbon monoxide when it burning fuel. This is normal, and the normal level of carbon monoxide produced by a furnace is not dangerous. However, if something goes wrong with the combustion process or there is a leak, it could cause the levels of carbon monoxide to increase in your home to a deadly level. Because of this, it’s important that you have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home. You should be sure to test your carbon monoxide detectors before winter season hits to make sure they work properly.
- Test your smoke alarms – Just like your carbon monoxide detectors, you should also test your smoke alarms every year and make sure that you replace your batteries. If a fire breaks out, your smoke alarms can warn you before it’s too late.
- Know where your gas shutoff valve is located – Identify where your gas shutoff valve is located. This way, if you smell gas near your furnace, you can shut it off immediately.
- Replace your filters regularly – Your furnace air filters should be checked every month and either cleaned or replaced once every one to three months. A filter that is clogged with dirt and debris will block the airflow of your furnace. This, in turn, can cause your heat exchanger to overheat, which can lead to cracks and carbon monoxide leaks.
- Have an emergency exit plan in place – Get together with everyone in your household and go over an emergency exit plan in case a fire breaks out or you smell gas around your furnace. This includes figuring out the quickest way to get outside, where to meet outside and who to call once you’ve left the house.
You should keep these furnace safety tips in mind as winter weather begins to hit the Chicago area and you become more and more dependent on your furnace to keep your home comfortable and safe.
If you need home heating services in the Chicagoland area, contact us at Glenbrook Heating & Air Conditioning.