Your furnace is designed to withstand the rigors of winter and provide consistent warm air to your family’s home. It is also designed to be safe, complying with industry regulations. However, furnace safety also lies in the hands of the homeowner, as they need to create an optimal environment for the furnace or heat pump to operate.   Fortunately, most furnace safety practices are easy and affordable. If you have any questions about furnace maintenance, contact HVAC company in Parkville, Maryland. They can walk you through the process of caring for your furnace. In the meantime, you can get started by reading our quick guide below on furnace safety tips during winter.

1. Dust Around the Furnace Regularly

One of the main culprits of furnace-related files is dust and dirt buildup, which can land anywhere in your heating system. Dust can get in the motor and blower, as well as in the heat exchanger, drain pan, pipes, thermostat, and nearly every other heating component. Over time, dust and dirt can slow down the system, making it work harder to produce the same results.   To keep the system safe, try to dust its parts once to twice a month for about every two weeks. Take a vacuum hose to remove all the accumulated dust in the water heater closet or area. From there, you can wipe up the remaining dust and clean the outside of the furnace. Dusting can prevent contaminants from circulating or buildup in the HVAC system.

2. Keep Items Away from the Furnace

Dust and dirt are not the only types of buildup that can lead to fire or furnace malfunction. Storing items next to a furnace can create too much pressure or gas buildup in the area because there is not enough airflow. Every item you place on or next to the furnace restricts airflow, which is essential for proper furnace operation.   How far away should you keep your items from your furnace? Most experts recommend that you keep items at least 30 inches or three feet away from the furnace. Also, keep items away from any vents or openings, as air needs to flow in or out of the compartment, depending on your HVAC’s design. More airflow creates a more efficient furnace.

3. Schedule Furnace Inspections Annually

Keep your furnace running safely during winter by scheduling a furnace inspection. The best time to schedule an inspection is in the early fall season – September through October. A professional furnace inspection may include the following items  
  • Checking for leaks or blockage
  • Check the heat exchanger for damage
  • Check and clean the blower
  • Test for tight seals on blower door
  • Check the air intake grill for blockage
  • Measure carbon monoxide levels
  • Check the flue for proper venting
  • Check all gas lines
  • Check Safety shutoff equipment
  • Check furnace flame sensor

4. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Most home designers install carbon monoxide detectors in areas where gas leaks may be a problem. You may have more than one detector if your appliances use gas, not electricity. If you don’t have a CO detector near your furnace, contact an HVAC company in Parkville to install one. A professional installation ensures that the detector is properly placed and installed.   How often should you check your carbon monoxide detector? Experts recommend testing it once a month. You can also take the opportunity to clean it and make sure the wires are connected. If you ever hear the alarm go off, quickly open some windows and exit the house. Contact an HVAC contractor to perform a CO test in the house.

5. Change Your HVAC Filters

Did you know that a dirty air filter may become so clogged that the filter itself becomes sucked into the system, compromising airflow through the filter? This situation presents a fire hazard and can cause damage to your HVAC unit and your home.   When your air filter is too dirty, dust and other hazardous particles may begin to build up in the filter and the duct system. These dirty ducts can lead to a backup of irritating particles. In extreme cases, you may even see dust and other particles emanating from your vents. If you have excessive dust, pollen, dander, and mold in the air, your family can suffer many symptoms related to poor air quality, including headaches, nausea, congestion, and irritated eyes.

Schedule Furnace Maintenance in Parkland, Maryland

Keep your furnace running safely all winter with maintenance and care from Reliability Home Services. We offer professional furnace maintenance in Parkland, Maryland. We can assess your furnace to identify and fix any problems before the coldest winter days arrive. Contact us today for an in-home assessment and get an estimate on furnace repair or replacement. Fill out our contact form or call us to schedule HVAC services in Parkland, Maryland.