Let’s Talk About Gas Furnace Safety

Oct 22, 2019

Important Gas Furnace Guidelines

The winter months are coming, meaning that soon it will be time to turn on our furnaces to make our homes cozy and warm. Of course, it is also important to make sure our furnaces are winter-ready, safe, and in good working order. That begins with ensuring that our homes are equipped with the most efficient furnace choice.

Gas furnaces and electric furnaces are the two main choices for home heating. While most people are more familiar with electric furnaces, there is a lot to be said for the gas models. Since natural gas is less costly than electricity a gas furnace, which is a bit more expensive than the electric models, pays for itself in money saved on utility bills. Gas furnaces also tend to have a longer lifespan, requiring less cost on furnace parts and repair.

October is National Fire Prevention Month, so let’s go over some tips for the care and safety of your gas furnace:


Schedule A Checkup For Your Gas Furnace

Once a year, ideally prior to the onset of the cold weather months, contact a professional HVAC contractor and schedule an inspection for your gas furnace. Preventive maintenance of this kind will reveal any potential problems as well as any repairs that may need to be made prior to putting your furnace into use for the season. Problems that occur during the winter months can be extremely costly. Arrange to have your HVAC system cleaned at the time of the inspection also. A thorough furnace and air duct cleaning will allow your system to perform well all season long.

Store Combustible Items Safely Away From Your Furnace

Be sure to keep all combustible items – boxes, books, papers, cleaning supplies, paint and paint thinner, etc. – stored as far away from your gas furnace as possible. Place them in a completely separate area of your house, or on a different floor for added safety.


Simple HVAC Care Makes A Huge Difference

Throughout the winter months check your furnace’s air filter every 30 days and change it at least once during the season. A clean filter is necessary to allow air to effectively flow throughout your house, free of allergens and other pollutants. By replacing clogged filters, you also protect your furnace from damage that can result if the motor burns up. This can happen when the furnace’s fan becomes overworked as it attempts to force air through a dirty filter. This damage can result in the need for new furnace parts, furnace repair, or the replacement of your entire system.


Keep It Clean

Keep the entire area around your furnace clean. This includes walls, floors, ceiling, and the furnace unit itself. Accumulated dust and dirt can clog the HVAC system and interfere with airflow.


Watch For Warning Signs

Be mindful of the walls and ceiling closest to your furnace. If you notice dark discoloration or soot staining these areas it is an indication that there is a loose vent or a broken seal in your system. Contact an HVAC professional at once for heater repair. Duct or vent cleaning may also be necessary.


Observe Your Furnace’s Pilot Flame

Throughout the months when your gas furnace is in use, keep an eye on the pilot flame. The flame should be completely blue in color at all times. A blue flame indicates total gas combustion. If any other colors (yellow, red, orange) are present, this is an indication that the furnace’s burner isn’t receiving sufficient airflow. If any color other than blue is present, contact an HVAC professional right away.


Know-How To Deal With A Gas Leak

Gas leaks are most often detected by a smell similar to rotten eggs or cooked cabbage. If you suspect a gas leak, you will need to take immediate steps to confirm it and protect your home and your family. At the first sign of an odor open the windows and doors and allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home. Natural gas is both odorless and colorless. The smell that makes it detectable is an additive called Mercaptan. Once the house has aired out for about an hour, close the doors and windows. If the odor remains there is very likely a gas leak. You can check for leaks by coating your furnace’s gas fittings with dish or laundry soap mixed with water. If bubbles appear on the fittings, a gas leak is present. Immediately get everyone out of the house. Don’t forget your pets as well. Turn off the gas to the house at the main shut-off valve and call your local fire department or gas company from a safe distance away.


Need More Details?

New Albany Heating and Cooling have a fully trained staff of professional HVAC technicians ready to help you make sure your gas furnace is in good working order and ready for the winter ahead. To schedule your annual HVAC inspection and cleaning or for any other heating and cooling unit needs, contact New Albany Heating and Cooling at 614-636-5002 or visit us on the web at newalbanyheatingcooling.com.