Winter is just around the corner, which makes keeping your home warm and comfortable a top priority. In addition to keeping your furnace in good shape, you'll also want to keep your furnace safe to use. Here are a few good tips to follow as you crank up the heat.
Remove Dust Buildup
Dust and debris can do more than just clog up vents and make it harder to circulate warm air. Dust can also turn combustible in the right quantities when exposed to a heat source. To reduce the likelihood of fire and improve your furnace's overall performance, keep your furnace clean and remove as much dust, dirt and debris buildup as possible.
Leave Your Vents Open
Closing off a vent or two seems like a great way of controlling heat without having to mess with the thermostat. However, closed vents also restrict airflow, making your furnace run less efficiently. Heat buildup can also occur with closed vents, leading to a potential fire hazard for your furnace. Instead of closing your vents, turn down the thermostat or invest in zoned heating, which allows fine-tuned independent control of specific areas for more efficient heating.
Store Combustibles Elsewhere
Your home's utility closet is no place to store paint thinner or lighter fluid, especially if that space is home to your furnace. Storing combustible materials in close proximity to your furnace can result in fire or explosion, putting your family's safety at risk. Make sure these materials are kept far away from your furnace, as well as any other potential heat source.
Check Your CO Detector Regularly
Your home's carbon monoxide (CO) detector is the first and often only defense against the buildup of the odorless and colorless gas. Just like your smoke detector, you should test your CO detector on a monthly basis and replace the battery biannually.
The average CO detector offers a life expectancy of around 10 years, but it's usually good practice to replace one every 5 to 7 years. If you don't have a CO detector already, have one installed as soon as possible.
Don't Forget to Change Your Filter
A clogged air filter not only drags down your furnace's energy efficiency and overall performance, but it also turns your furnace into a potential fire hazard. Installing a brand-new air filter takes little time at all, plus it prevents overheating problems by ensuring your furnace receives uninterrupted airflow.
Contact a furnace service for more help.