September 17, 2014

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Put Safety First When Operating A Gas Furnace

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If you operate a gas furnace in your Cleveland-area home, you can rest assured you’ve chosen one of the safest and most efficient ways to keep your family warm this winter. However, whenever combustible gas is burned inside the house, certain precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of your home and family. Follow these safety tips while operating a gas furnace.

Maintain your furnace

  • Schedule a preventive tuneup of your furnace with a qualified HVAC professional, if you neglected to do so this fall. Your technician will check the entire system, including the gas and electrical connections, burner combustion and gas pressure.
  • Check your furnace filter every month and change when it’s dirty. A dirty filter impedes the flow of air to your system and makes it work harder to keep you comfortable. This can result in the furnace overheating, which can cause cracks in the heat exchanger and release carbon monoxide into your home. A clean filter improves indoor air quality, trapping mold, bacteria, viruses and other contaminates that can make your family sick.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and accessible. Store flammable materials at least 15 feet away from your unit.
  • Know where your gas shutoff valve is located and keep it accessible in case of an emergency.
  • Call your gas company immediately if you smell gas around your system.

Practice carbon monoxide safety

  • Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Know the symptoms of CO poisoning, which include dizziness, headache and nausea. If you suspect a CO leak, move your family to fresh air immediately and call 911.
  • Install CO detectors high on the wall on every floor in your home, including your main sleeping areas.
  • Test your CO and smoke detectors and replace the batteries every six months.

Have an emergency plan

  • Draft a family emergency plan and stage a drill twice a year to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do in an emergency.

For more expert advice on safely operating a gas furnace, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, serving the greater Cleveland area with honesty and integrity for more than 77 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about gas furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!