Like most Ohio homeowners, keeping your family warm and cozy when chilly weather hits is one of your top priorities. However, when you turn up the heat, it’s possible that you aren’t just keeping toes toasty, you might also be putting your family’s safety at risk. While you are just trying to stay comfortable, if your furnace has been neglected or repaired by an unqualified technician in the past, it can not only result in higher utility bills, but also put you and your loved ones in a very precarious, and possibly dangerous, situation.
Before cooler weather arrives, experts recommend having your furnace serviced by a professional to keep it operating efficiently, prevent it from breaking down and to keep your family safe.
Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Having rusted out draft diverters, unsecured pilots and rusted or disconnected venting systems are all very potentially dangerous situations. A clean, efficient gas furnace provides safe, cost-effective heating, but a gas furnace that isn’t operating at peak performance can be dangerous if it begins producing higher levels of carbon monoxide.
If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger or other defect, you and your loved ones are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly. A carbon monoxide leak can cause hallucinations or may manifest as flu-like symptoms. Additionally, it can cause lethargy, nausea, headaches and dizziness and even lead to death. An estimated 15,000 people are taken to emergency rooms and 500 people die each year due to carbon monoxide exposure. Annual furnace maintenance and inspections will identify and eliminate conditions that create these hazards.
The Importance of Annual Furnace Maintenance
In addition to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, failing to maintain your HVAC system can put you and your family at risk in other ways as well. Not only can dirty filters restrict air flow and put a strain on your system, they can create unhealthy indoor air conditions. Failing to clear or replace furnace filters can result in poor indoor air quality from dust, pollen, mold, mildew and other contaminants.
Just as you take care to get regular dental checkups and make sure your car receives routine tune-ups, having your furnace inspected annually will keep it in good shape and identify possible problems before they become dangerous. Scheduling annual maintenance for your furnace can also extend the life of your HVAC system and ensure your manufacturer’s warranty remains in effect.
While DIY maintenance, such as cleaning/changing the air filter and keeping your unit free from dirt and debris is important, it is no substitute for professional maintenance. With electricity, wiring, gases and fire involved, your furnace needs attention and care from a professional.
What is Involved in a Furnace Inspection?
A complete furnace inspection ensures that your entire system is well-maintained, operating efficiently and eliminates dangerous issues. Depending on your specific unit, a professional inspection will likely include:
- Checking the vent system for leakage or blockage.
- Analyzing and comparing combustion gases to the unit specifications.
- Checking the blower access door seal.
- Inspecting fresh air intake louvers and grills for blockage.
- Checking the heat exchanger for rust and corrosion.
- Inspecting the burners for proper burner flame, flame sense and ignition.
- Inspecting the drainage system for blocks or leaks.
- Checking the wiring for corrosion or damage.
- Cleaning the blower wheel.
- Conducting an amp-draw test on the blower motor.
- Lubricating moving parts.
Keeping your furnace running smoothly, safely and efficiently will ensure that you and your family stay comfortable indoors this winter. Call Buckeye Heating and Cooling today and we’ll send a certified technician to inspect your furnace.