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3 Safety Tips for Using Your Furnace During the Winter

January 19, 2021

Winter weather has arrived in Raleigh, NC, and you’ll rely on your furnace to keep your home cozy. Furnaces are usually an efficient and safe way to heat your home. Practice these three safety tips when using your furnace during the winter.

Maintain Adequate Clearance

Your furnace needs at least three feet of clearance in all directions. Avoid piling books, papers, boxes, bins or anything combustible near the furnace. The flue also requires adequate clearance. Make sure the furnace flue and vent aren’t blocked by ice or snow. Also, check the vents in each room of your home. Keep furniture, appliances and decor away from the vent openings.

Change the Air Filter

The Department of Energy recommends checking your furnace filter once per month. If it’s dirty, replace it. Avoid using the same filter for more than three months. Operating a furnace with a dirty filter increases the risk of overheating the heat exchanger. An overheated heat exchanger can crack. A cracked heat exchanger may allow poisonous carbon monoxide gas to mix with the air in your home. Once a month, peer through the window of your furnace. If you see dust or debris in the combustion chamber, you’ll need a furnace inspection.

Install and Test a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. It’s a waste product of the combustion process. When the furnace burns gas, some carbon monoxide is produced. A problem with the combustion chamber’s seal, heat exchanger, flue or fan could allow this toxic gas to infiltrate your home. Because you can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, the only way to know if it’s in your home is to use a carbon monoxide detector. Our furnace installation technicians can install one for you. Test the detector monthly.

For more safety tips on using your furnace during the winter, take a look at Cape Fear Air Conditioning, Heating, & Electrical Company, Inc.’s heating installation services, or get in touch with us today.

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