MISTAKES THAT INCREASE FIRE RISKS

As temperatures drop outside, Seattle area homeowners are increasingly reliant on furnaces and other home heating equipment to stay comfortable. You need to heat your home with care to prevent fire hazards from posing a danger to your household this winter.

The following are seven home heating mistakes that you should avoid.

1. STORING FLAMMABLE ITEMS NEAR A FURNACE

Keep any flammable items a good distance away from your furnace. According to the National Fire Protection Association, flammable materials should be kept at last three feet away from a furnace.

In fact, you need to keep flammable items away from any heat source. This includes ovens, space heaters, fireplaces, dryers, and more. Take a look around your home and do some reorganizing to be sure that storage of your items is both safe and practical.

2. NEGLECTING A FURNACE TUNE-UP

The only way to be completely sure your furnace is safe and efficient is by scheduling a furnace tune-up. A furnace that’s in poor condition is more likely to overheat and spark a fire. During a furnace tune-up and inspection, your HVAC service provider looks out for developing problems and recommends necessary repairs.

Typical furnace tune-ups include replacing filters, checking electrical switches, monitoring gas pressure and refrigerant levels, and verifying proper functioning of moving parts like motors and belts.

3. LEAVING AN OLD FILTER IN PLACE

One of the most basic and important maintenance tasks for a furnace is putting a new air filter in place when necessary.

The air filter is important for ensuring air quality on the interior of a home. However, air filters collect residue and become blocked up over time. This restricts air flow and requires the furnace to work harder than normal. Clogged air filters are a possible cause of overheating and furnace fires.

Make sure your air filter is not clogged before you start using your furnace in the later fall and early winter.

4. RUNNING A FURNACE WITH BLOCKED DUCTS/VENTS

Another thing that restricts airflow and possibly causes overheating is blocked ducts and vents. Along with an inspection of your furnace, your HVAC provider should also perform and inspection of your ducts and vents.

Vacuum your vents regularly to remove any dust and prevent clogs from blocking the flow of conditioned air throughout your home heating system.

5. HAVING INADEQUATE INSULATION

Poor insulation leaves a household more reliant on the furnace. This increases the chances that a furnace overheats as it works extra hard to maintain a warm temperature while conditioned air escapes to the outside.

Discuss your home’s insulation needs with your HVAC services provider. Your furnace will be more effective while expending less energy when your home is adequately insulated. Not only does insulation reduce demands on your furnace and thereby prevent overheating, but it also increases home efficiency.

6. LEAVING A SPACE HEATER RUN UNOBSERVED

Space heaters complement your furnace to make your home as warm and cozy as possible. However, you need to ensure safe space heater use by never leaving a space heater unattended.

The surface of space heater and the immediate surroundings get very hot, so make sure you’re standing by to shut the unit down if necessary.

7. ALLOWING CLUTTER BUILDUP AROUND YOUR FURNACE

Staying organized around your furnace is important. Don’t get into the bad habit of using the area around your furnace for storage. Ideally, you should have several feet of empty space around your furnace at all times.

Airflow around your furnace is essential. Your furnace needs a constant supply of air to heat up and then channel throughout your home via your ducts. Inadequate air supply causes your furnace to work harder. Also, empty space around your furnace diffuses some of the heat the furnace produces to prevent overheating and resulting fire risks.

Contact us at AirGanic to schedule a furnace inspection, duct cleaning, or learn more about home heating safety.