Since the warmth of summer has dissipated into the chill of fall now, you may have turned on your furnace to warm the chill out of the morning air in your home. Did you know, however, that if the previous homeowners haven't cleaned or maintained the furnace that you could be compromising your furnace efficiency, or worse, your health.
A dirty furnace can be a problem because dirt can interfere with proper combustion and/or air transfer from the furnace throughout the house. While it is common for there to be a dusty smell when you turn your furnace on for the first time in the fall, you should only be able to smell that for a short time before the dust is burnt off.
One part of your furnace that does need some attention if it’s dusty is the filter. Your filter needs to be changed once it gets dusty; this could be every three years if your home has relatively particle-free air but it can be more often as well. If you’ve done any renovations in your home, you may need to replace the filter after only a few months because particles from the air will end up in the filter.
Did you know that your furnace room shouldn’t be used for storage? If you’ve just purchased a home with a furnace after living in places with alternative types of heating, this might be a bit of a surprise. A furnace needs lots of ventilation which can be compromised by a full and cluttered furnace room. Also, storing things in your furnace room can cause a fire hazard, so take the time to store things somewhere else.
It is a good idea to have a furnace professional come in and maintain your furnace once a year to ensure that the blower and the motor are functioning well as well to make sure that it’s burning fuel properly. Improperly burnt fuel can result in gas poisoning; cracks or damage in a furnace from age or poor maintenance can cause the escape of carbon monoxide gasses which is very dangerous to anyone in the home. As an extra precaution, it is also advisable to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home to keep your family safe.
Whether you are living in a new home or an older home with a furnace, it is important to keep your furnace maintained and your filters clean to keep it heating your home efficiently and safely.
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