Your natural gas furnace is more efficient, convenient, reliable, and typically costs less to operate than the alternatives. If you do not properly maintain and care for your natural gas furnace, the system will not work efficiently. Unfortunately, letting the care and maintenance of your gas furnace go too far can even be dangerous. If this is your first experience with a gas furnace, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
Ensure There Is Proper Ventilation
In order for your furnace to work properly and to improve its efficiency, you need to ensure that your furnace has proper ventilation. The best place to begin is to replace or clean the furnace filter regularly. Make sure that there are no obstructions near the furnace itself or near the furnace's flue pipe. The flue pipe of the furnace, especially on older models, is located outdoors.
In the spring and summer, make sure there are no bushes or trees growing around the flue pipe. In the winter, snow should be shoveled away from the flue pipe to prevent any obstructions.
Be Careful What You Store Near Your Furnace
In addition to not storing any objects within a few feet of the furnace itself, there are other items you should never store in your basement near your furnace. For example, do not store anything flammable near the furnace, such as paint, cleaning products, cat litter, old clothing or blankets, or wood chips. It is also important to keep a clear path to the furnace, in case there is an emergency, and you need to turn off your furnace quickly.
Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
When you have any appliance that uses natural gas, your family is in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can actually be fatal. If you own a natural gas furnace, it is integral to install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home.
The detector should either be installed several inches above the floor on the wall or on the ceiling.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Finally, the best way to ensure you and your family are safe is to have your natural gas furnace inspected at least once a year. During the inspection, a professional can not only ensure your furnace is running efficiently, but they can also check for any potential safety issues and fix the issue before it becomes a serious problem.
From installing carbon monoxide detectors to scheduling yearly maintenance, there are several ways you can keep your natural gas furnace safe. For more information on heating services, contact a professional near you.