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Published: November 12, 2018

Home Heating - Gas & Propane Furnace Safety

As we come into the cold season it is important to know that most home fires occur during the winter months and many dangers can be attributed to a gas furnace (natural or propane) or home heating system in your home.

A lot of people in our area are on a natural gas or propane system. If you have recently purchased a system these newer gas furnaces are equipped with safety features that are designed to shut a furnace off when a problem is detected but there are still some things to be aware of. Also, older furnaces may not have these safety devices so these things can be even more important if you fall into this category.

Things you should do...

  • Have your furnace cleaned and checked every year by a certified HVAC technician.
  • Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and alarm in your home and check them every 30 days.
  • Change your furnace filter regularly.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and unobstructed.
  • Keep the burner area of your furnace clean.
  • Only operate the furnace with the front-panel door properly in place.
  • Remove anything combustible such as paint thinners and gasoline away from your furnace.
  • Not close off more than 20 percent of the registers in your house.
  • Safety Tip

    Natural gas and propane are odorless in their natural state but before they are distributed they are infused with a foul smelling odorant called mercaptan which smells like "rotten eggs". Any gas or "rotten eggs" odor may indicate a dangerous leak. Leaks cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell even a slight amount of gas take action immediately! Open up the area, clear the area, shut off the sources of gas and call the gas company.

    Safety Tip

    All fuel-burning appliances emit dangerous by-products such as carbon monoxide (CO). A faulty or leaking ventilation system can create a dangerous situation in your home by contaminating your indoor air with CO, methane, and other emissions. A clean, efficiently burning gas furnace produces very small amounts of carbon monoxide, while a dirty, inefficiently burning one can produce deadly amounts so keep yours serviced.


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