When the temperatures begin to cool down and the leaves start changing, you may be ready to start using your furnace. Before you turn it on for the season, however, there are several points to consider for safety. After months of disuse, all furnaces need some maintenance and general upkeep to ensure that you and your loved ones will be safe and warm in your home. Whether your furnace runs on natural gas or electricity, the same rules apply for both. Furnaces are appliances capable of providing a great amount of heat, and as such, are also capable of being hazardous if they are not properly looked after.
Schedule Your Annual Maintenance Check
Just like a car requires regular oil changes to keep running correctly, furnaces require regular maintenance in order to ensure they will run safely and efficiently. Most manufacturers require annual tune-ups of your furnace in order to honor the warranty on your system. But maintenance is also necessary to keep your family safe. During a routine maintenance visit, a technician from Metro Air Limited will perform a thorough inspection of your furnace to make sure all components are operating correctly. There are several tasks that will be performed during one of these visits:
- Check that the air filters are clean
- Clean the burner
- Check electrical connections and tighten them, if needed
- Test all safety systems
- Test for carbon monoxide and gas leaks
- And more!
If there is anything that is found that is not operational or safe, your technician will make recommendations for repair, or replacement of your furnace, if necessary. Taking care of repairs before your furnace breaks down will keep you from needing them in an emergency, when receiving service may be delayed due to heavy service volume. Make sure you schedule your annual maintenance appointment during the fall season, before the weather gets very cold.
Keep Registers Open
Closing off registers in your home blocks airflow, causes heat to build up, and affects the efficiency of your furnace. It will work harder to push the air through the vents that are open. This can cause your system to break down if it is working too hard. It’s also important that all registers and vents are free from obstructions, and free of dust, lint, and pet hair. Vacuuming or dusting the registers once a month is helpful to not only keep the vent clear of obstructions, but also help keep your filter free from accumulation of dirt and debris.
Remove Obstructions and Flammables
If your furnace is located in your basement or a utility closet, then it is essential that there are no obstructions located near it. Your furnace needs to have free air flow in order to operate correctly. It’s also extremely important that anything that is flammable is removed, as your furnace will be hot as it is operating. Flammable items can include:
- Paint or paint thinners
- Wood scraps
- Old rags
Having these items near your furnace as it is running can spell disaster! Make sure that the area around your furnace is free and clear, and that it is cleaned of any dust, lint and cobwebs. This can be taken care of quickly by vacuuming around your furnace.
Install and Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
If you do not have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home, it is crucial that you install them before running your furnace. If you do have these installed, then you want to make sure that you test them regularly to ensure they are working. Likewise, you need to test your smoke detectors and change the batteries as needed. It is generally advised that this is performed twice a year. Coincidentally, it coincides with the annual maintenance of your furnace. So when you schedule your annual furnace maintenance appointment, test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors at the same time.
Following these tips will help keep your furnace working properly for you all season long. It will also ensure yours and your family’s safety and well-being. At Metro Air Limited, we care about your comfort and safety. We want your home to be a safe haven, especially during these unsure times. We hope that you will follow these above tips, and call us to schedule your annual tune-up appointment.