Home comfort and safety is important (especially during the cold winter months here in the nation’s capital). When it comes to safety specifically, understanding how your home’s heating equipment works and preventing potential hazards is the best way to keep your loved ones protected.

The following are some important things to be mindful of when it comes to preventing potential fire hazards related to your home’s HVAC equipment.

Clear the Area Around Your Heating Unit
Houses are filled with flammable materials like papers, books, furniture, curtains, clothes, boxes, and any number of other items that can spread a fire fast. In particular, if your furnace sits in the attic or basement, it can be easy to pile unused items around it. However, this is a fire hazard. Crowding heating equipment was a massive contributor to fatal fires—contributing to combustion in about 56 percent of cases, according to the NFPA. Make sure you’re keeping the area around your furnace, heat pump, and other equipment clear—an area about three feet in diameter.

Be Aware of HVAC Maintenance Issues
Your central heating system is just like any other appliance. It can degrade and break down as it ages, and unfortunately, some of this deterioration can result in serious and dangerous conditions. One issue comes with the wiring. Over time, electrical connections can become loose, which overloads your furnace, causing shorts and fires. You should be on high alert if you notice a burning smell or smoking coming from your heating equipment—and have an HVAC professional out to visit as soon as possible.

Another serious problem? A cracked heat exchanger. Not only does this put you at an increased risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s also a fire risk, too. Carbon monoxide is a highly flammable substance, so when it mixes with your air, there’s the possibility of combustion. An annual inspection of your heating equipment should help you rule this issue out.

Leaking fuel lines can also have disastrous consequences. Heating oil and natural gas are obviously very, very flammable. And when your lines leak, it allows these ignitable substances to come in contact with heated components, which is just asking for trouble. If you smell oil or gas, shut your heating equipment off immediately, and contact a service repair person.’ (source: modernize.com)

At Stan’s our aim is always to provide our clients with the best professional home comfort services and part of that process includes education; safety starts with knowing the best ways to avoid potential dangers. Learn more about our furnace maintenance services and contact us today!