Temperatures are dropping here in Chicagoland, a reminder that the serious cold weather of winter isn't far away. It's time to fire up the furnace in your home and settle in for the heating season.
If you use a gas furnace-the most popular heating system in the U.S.-you need to take a few steps to make sure that it runs as safely as possible over the winter. Gas furnaces are not necessarily dangerous, but like any appliance that uses natural gas, it's important to take precautions with it. Below are some tips for safe heating this season with your gas furnace:
- Schedule maintenance: If you haven't already done so, call for a professional HVAC technician to come to your home and give your furnace a complete inspection and tune-up. This is the best way to maintain a safe furnace. The technician will look for anything that might be hazardous, such as gas line leaks or cracks in the heat exchanger, and offer recommendations for any repairs.
- Change the air filter: This is part of routine maintenance, but it's also something you must do on your own over the winter, once a month. A clogged air filter can lead to a furnace overheating because of heat trapped inside it. (It will also make the furnace run inefficiently, elevating your bills.)
- Keep the area around the cabinet clear: Floor furnaces can pose a hazard of causing objects stored near them to melt or even catch fire. Don't store anything combustible (such as paint thinner) around the cabinet, and give it at least a six-inch clearance on all sides.
- Never wait to call for repairs: A furnace can become dangerous if allowed to run while it has a fault of some kind. Never shrug off signs that something is wrong with the furnace and procrastinate about doing anything about it. Call a professional HVAC company to repair the unit.
Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers furnace services, including repairs and maintenance, in Elgin, IL.