Don’t Treat Your Furnace Like It Wants To Borrow Money

October 15, 2015

Don’t ignore your furnace.  Furnace maintenance is necessary every year before it gets cold outside.

furnace flames

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 Maintenance

There’s more to maintenance than moving a few boxes around and changing the filter. It also includes the pipes, ducts, chimney, fireplace, and often several other appliances.

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

So call a professional HVAC technician before the temperature dips.

Furnace Problems

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

And aside from the many 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.

Then there’s the poorly designed energy upgrade that blocks air the furnace needs to breathe.

A similar problem develops if you create a work space in the furnace room. Be careful not seal any open wall vents.

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

I often see situations where renovations in the summer create problems in the winter. So think twice or ask a professional before making any permanent changes.

Because starving your furnace can fill your home with carbon monoxide. And we all know that’s bad.

Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide

It puts you to sleep, but you won’t wake up.

In fact, carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in North America. It’s 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. 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. They’re available everywhere for around $35.

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.

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Steve Rodriguez

Steve is a Certified Master Inspector® and owner of Bulldog Professional Inspection Services in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the author of The Ultimate Consumer Guide To Home Inspections and has been a professional home inspector since 2003.

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