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Don’t Ignore Furnace Maintenance

BY Steve Rodriguez
Steve Rodriguez
BY Steve Rodriguez
Steve Rodriguez

Don’t ignore your furnace. 

Furnace maintenance is necessary every year before it gets cold outside.

Gas and oil furnaces are not only expensive to operate, but a health hazard if don’t keep it up.

And it’s not only furnaces but all gas appliances – water heaters, space heaters, and fireplaces.

furnace flames

Furnace Maintenance

There’s more to furnace maintenance than moving a few boxes around and changing the filter.

It also includes checking the pipes, ducts, chimney, fireplace, and often several other appliances.

This takes an understanding of combustion and air flow because most furnace problems involve leaks, blockage, or incomplete combustion.

Which requires the experience of a professional HVAC technician.

Furnace Problems

Most serious problems start in the heat-exchanger, vent pipes, blower compartment, and chimney.

And aside from the energy benefits of owning an airtight home, it can be bad for gas furnaces. That’s because they have a tough time getting the fresh air needed to work safely.

In addition, there are often poorly designed energy upgrades that block essential air the furnace needs to breathe.

A similar problem forms if you create a workspace in the same area as the furnace. Be very careful not to seal any open wall vents.

This new space may mean more privacy, but the outcome may be deadly.

In fact, I’ve seen situations where renovations in the summer create problems in the winter.

It’s always best to pause before work starts and ask a professional before making any permanent changes.

Starving your furnace can fill your home with carbon monoxide and put the whole house to sleep (but this time won’t wake up).

Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide

In fact, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in North America.

It’s also colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

It kills around 400 people in the U.S. each year and puts thousands more in the hospital.

Signs Of CO Poisoning

You may think you’re getting the flu – headache, nausea, dizziness, and heart palpitations.

But, don’t go to bed. Especially if everyone in the home feels the same way.

Instead, get out of the house, go straight to the hardware store, and buy a CO detector.

A carbon monoxide detector is indispensable.

They’re not as common as smoke detectors but every house should have one and they’re available everywhere for around $35.

Place one in the same room as your furnace and one every floor of your home.

carbon monoxide detector

Hey, why not give a CO detector as a Christmas or housewarming gift?

It’ll last forever and be appreciated – especially if it goes off in the middle of the night.

Nighty night. 💤

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Steve Rodriguez is a Certified Master Inspector® and the owner of Bulldog Professional Inspection Services. He will perform your home inspection and has personally uncovered tens-of-thousands of defects in 14,000+ Kansas City properties since 2003.
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