By John Ward
The National Fire Protection Association notes that more than 64,000 home fires were traced back to heating units in 2006. Those fires claimed 540 lives and resulted in injuries to 1,400â€”meaning a good heating system can be the difference between life and death.
Keeping your home safe and warm this winter may cost you nothing more than some preventative maintenance.. Here are a few practical tips for keeping your heating unit in good repair; saving you money and helping you gain peace of mind:
- To increase safety and operating efficiency, make sure your furnace gets sufficient air for proper operation. The best way is to nstall combustion air vents between your furnace room and the outside of your home.
- Change your furnace filter every other month and keep it clean according to manufacturer specifications. Dirty filters reduce airflow and force your home’s heating system to work harder. Clean filters help save you money on your fuel bill while extending the life of your system.
- If your gas burners produce a yellow flame, call for professional assistance. Burner flames should be blue, even though orange and red streaks inside the blue flame are quite normal. A yellow flame means the burner is dirty and not getting enough air.
- The area around your furnace should be kept clear of combustible material such as paper, cardboard or paint cans.
- Keep informed of the danger signals for unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. You’ll find plenty of information on the Internet And remember: the best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is with an annual inspection of your fuel-burning appliances.
- A license contractor can do these inspections, as well as inspections of your carbon monoxide detectors, and will replace batteries for free. It’s also important to remember that as of July 1, 2009, all new and resold homes must be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.
As stated above, home safety begins with you and by following these steps you’ll have fewer problems with your furnace, save money on your fuel bill and add years to the system’s effective lifespan. A complete tune-up and inspection of your home heating system will also help. Furthermore, you will be able to rest easy this winter knowing that you’ve done everything possible to protect your home and family.
John Ward has owned and operated Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric for more than 35 years. He is a master plumber and recognized industry leader for his knowledge and ethical business practices. Visit us today atÂ www.ApplewoodFixIt.com.