It's about to start getting cold outside again and there is nothing better than turning up the heat to make a toasty retreat.
Have you prepared your furnace for Winter? Southern California Gas Co. offers some handy help in keeping your appliances working well and safely. Improperly maintained units can be a health and safety hazard!
"Now is the time to perform maintenance on your home-heating appliances to check that they can be operated safely and efficiently," said Jimmie Cho, vice president of field services for SoCalGas. "Customers are beginning to turn on their furnaces for the first time in months. Heating appliances should be serviced annually to keep them operating safely and efficiently. A licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas can provide this service for you."
Here are their tried and true safety tips:
- Have natural gas furnaces checked at least once a year by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas.
- Vacuum and clean regularly in and around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.
- Never store items in, on or around the appliance that can obstruct airflow.
- Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home. Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary.
- When installing a new or cleaned furnace filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly; never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Check the appearance of the flame. If the flame is yellow, large and unsteady, the furnace needs to be inspected immediately by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas to have the condition corrected.
- Using an unvented gas heater in your home is dangerous and a violation of the California Health and Safety Code.
- Never use your oven, range or outdoor barbecue to heat your home because these appliances are not designed for this purpose.
Keeping your furnace in good working order is about more than just saving money on heating costs, although it will do that. It's also about keeping your family safe.
Your first line of defense is to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and it's symptoms of nausea, drowsiness, flu-like symptoms, and even death by keeping up on the maintenance and safety tips above. Next, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home to monitor CO levels.
It's about keeping your home...and family... in good working order.