A furnace is one of the most essential components of a home. Good furnace maintenance can keep you and your family warm and cozy in those brutal winter months. Without a furnace, we’d be back to chopping wood and huddling around a fireplace. Just about every home owner has a furnace, but many don’t know how they work! To put it simply, a furnace uses propane or gas to light a small burner that then heats up and forces warm air throughout your house. A furnace that is well maintained heats a home reliably and safely.
But like any appliance, furnaces can break or require repairs. And since they’re such a complicated piece of machinery, broken furnaces can present real dangers to you and your family. Remember to always consult an expert when looking into furnace maintenance.
According to Smile HVAC Vaughan: “A poor furnace maintenance can present real dangers to a household.” Luckily, there are some early warning signs that you can keep an eye out for. And if you spot any of these problems, then it’s probably time to call in the experts.
A Weak Flame
Furnaces have a small flame that is fuelled by gas or propane. Ideally, this light will be consistent with a blue colour. If you find that the flame is yellow or orange or that it is flickering, this is a sign that you should contact repair professionals.
Not only will this make your furnace run inefficiently and cost you in the long run, but it could also be caused by a gas leak. If you notice a poor flame, make sure to check for the smell of gas. Your nose can be one of your first lines of defence!
Unusually High Hydro Rates
If your daily habits haven’t changed much, but you find yourself paying more and more to heat your home, it may be a problem with your furnace. Your unit could be in need of repairs, or it might be aging and it could be time to take a look at replacing it.
Did you know that the furnace is often the biggest cost on your hydro bill? Having a furnace that runs smoothly and efficiently is safer, and more cost effective long-term. “Over 60 per cent of your annual energy costs go to heating your home, so it’s worth heating it as efficiently as possible.”
Well-kept furnace maintenance runs smoothly and shouldn’t produce too much noise. But if you’re hearing strange, new bangs and rattles coming from your machine, it’s best to be on the safe side and call in the experts. Always be careful of machines that go bump in the night… especially furnaces!
If you notice these early warning signs, but choose to ignore them, you could be putting your household at risk for some of the biggest dangers of the poorly furnace maintenance. These can include:
A Gas Leak
Have you been noticing the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs around the house? This could be a sign that your furnace has a gas leak. Not only does this present a danger to your health, but it could also lead to other issues. Gas leaks can cause a fire and even an explosion if they’re not dealt with quickly and effectively.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the biggest dangers in any household. And it is a poisonous gas that doesn’t have any scent. According to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, the gas sends hundreds of people in Canada to the hospital each year. The most important thing to look out for here is if your family has begun to experience nausea or headaches when in the house. This is one of the early signs. A carbon monoxide detector and regular furnace maintenance can help mitigate the risk to you and your family.
A Fire or Explosion
In the most extreme circumstances, a furnace in need of repairs could start a fire or even worse. This could be due to a number of factors. For example, an old furnace that isn’t properly ventilated or has many flammable materials stored around it is a common cause of fires. Additionally, a new furnace that wasn’t installed by professionals could also present a real danger.
Always keep in mind that there are small things you can do to keep your household safe. A carbon monoxide detector can literally save lives and keeping an eye on the flame is a great way to know when you need to call in the experts. Plus, being sure to keep the area around the furnace clear can help prevent fires.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, as furnaces age, they require more regular maintenance and repairs. If you find that you regularly need to call in the pros, it’s probably a good sign that your unit could use an upgrade.
But the best thing you can do for your furnace is to have it checked out by professionals. Regular maintenance and keeping on top of repairs are a must. The furnace is one of the most important parts of the home and it should be treated like it! So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these early warning signs and have your furnace regularly serviced by professionals who do a furnace repair and installation.