Winter Furnace Safety Tips

Girl with snowman

The official start of winter is almost here. Your hats and scarves are out of storage, there’s a snow shovel near your front door and all-weather tires on your car.

You might be ready, but is your furnace? How much thought have you given to furnace safety?

Making sure your furnace is up to the task of warming your home will not only keep your energy bills low, it can also keep you and your family safe. Here are five heating service issues to look for so you can make sure your furnace functions safely this winter.

1. Clear some space

You should have at least two feet of space cleared around the furnace, more if there are any flammable items (lint, dust, papers, paint, rags or clothing) around.

Remove dust and lint with a vacuum cleaner once each month to prevent dangerous dust build-up. In addition, make sure any flammable liquids being stored in the same area as the furnace are sealed in an airtight container to prevent them from accidentally igniting.

2. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working

Protect your family and home from the risk of fires by making sure you have a smoke detector in the same room as your furnace. You should test its batteries every six months – a good way to remember is to do this when you change the clocks at the start and finish of Daylight-Saving Time – and replace the batteries once a year.

By the same token, furnace malfunctions can send deadly carbon monoxide fumes seeping into your home, which is why a working CO detector is critical to furnace safety.

Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, which means you won’t be able to rely on your senses to determine whether there’s a problem.

3. Change your filters

Changing HVAC filter

There are two very good reasons for making sure your furnace has fresh, clean filters. First off, a dirty filter forces your system to work harder than it needs to, which drives up your energy bill.

The second reason relates to furnace safety. When your filters are dirty, it pushes dust particles, debris and allergens into the atmosphere, reducing the air quality in your home. Make sure you change your filter every 30 to 90 days, although you may want to do it more often in the winter to keep your furnace running smoothly.

4. Keep the air flowing

Cleaning Heat Vent

If your furnace’s air flow gets cut off, it may begin consuming oxygen in your home, leading to unsafe conditions for you and your loved one.

And any obstructions to your furnace’s air flow may cause uneven heating in your home, causing your furnace to work harder and costing you money. Make sure you’ve cleared away any obstructions and opened floor registers to keep your furnace “breathing” normally.

5. Regular maintenance

It’s much cheaper to schedule preventive maintenance on your furnace than to try to deal with an unexpected repair in the dead of winter.

In addition, regular maintenance ensures your heating system runs as efficiently as possible, helping contribute to long-term cost savings.

When was the last time an HVAC professional examined your system? If it’s been since the last change of seasons, it’s been too long.

The experts at All Seasons Comfort Control can inspect your furnace and look for signs of wear and tear and other issues that can prevent it from doing its job this winter. Contact us today to learn more about our maintenance plans.