Excessive use of appliances, substandard electrical wirings, wild fires, and arson are among the causes of house fires. However, there’s one often overlooked fire cause: a faulty furnace.
As a homeowner, you may also be guilty of not paying enough attention to your home heating system. It’s easy to spot problems in the walls of your living room or pipes upstairs. Thus, you’re more likely to deal with them first, compared to a problematic furnace in your basement. Nevertheless, the latter is more destructive than the other problems, so it’s only fitting to give it more attention.
Is Your Furnace Old?
It takes a lot more fuel to power an old furnace compared to new ones. You can’t even opt to use electricity if you have the former.
Even if they use up more fuel, an old furnace still doesn’t provide ample heat. Other problems of owning such include leakage, high maintenance costs, and lack or obsoleteness of safety features.
These are among the many reasons you should replace your old furnace. This type of home heating system only lasts for 15 to 20 years. In case you own an ancestral house, it may not be easy to know the age of your furnace. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to know. Hiring a furnace inspector is the way to go. Aside from the inspection, you should ask a professional to help you deal with the following furnace problems.
Blockage of Air Flow
Furnaces and gas tanks alike are often installed in the basement. It’s kind of safer this way because kids and pets won’t have easy access to them. But, its location makes it more susceptible to being surrounded by combustible items such as boxes, cloths, paper, wood and shelving.
Having combustible items around make it easier for fire to spread in case your furnace malfunctions. Aside from their combustible nature, the accumulation of items in itself can block the airflow, which the furnace needs to operate properly.
To resolve these risks, you should plan your storage area in your basement properly. You can still have a storage space, provided that it’s relatively far from the furnace.
Even if you’re not using your home heating system, you should still pay attention to the kinds of things you place beside it. Every week, you should check each room in your home to spot improperly placed items and bring them to their respective and safe areas. Avoid storing spray paint, insecticides, cleaning solutions and small propane tanks near the furnace as well.
Lack of Safety Switches
Old furnaces don’t have the safety switches that most—if not all—modern ones possess. These safety switches operate when your furnace’s pilot lights are malfunctioning. Malfunctioning pilot lights mean there are sources of fire in you home that you may not be aware and in control of.
Having such safety switches is a form of trouble for many homeowners, though. This entails that they may need to get up in the middle of a winter night to check on their furnace and turn it on again. However, with the said safety feature, you’re more likely to become more attuned with the condition and operation of your furnace. Also, it keeps you away from a potential fire hazard.
The only way to resolve the lack of safety switch in your furnace is to have it replaced. You don’t just replace a part; you have to get rid of the home heating system and get a new one.
The initial costs of getting a new furnace are higher than keeping your old one. In the long run, however, you’re going to get lower utility bills, deal with fewer problems, and feel a sense of security because you know your furnace remains in good condition. Make sure you only buy a high-quality furnace and hire a certified service technician to do the job of disposing your old furnace and installing the new one.
Leakage of Natural Gas
Due to rusting, accidental hitting or overuse, some parts of your furnace may have holes or thinning parts. Natural gas tends to leak from your home heating system because of these.
A leak in your home heating system can become a source of house fire. Avoid disaster by ensuring that any leak gets professionally inspected and stopped right away.
Regular inspection will further lessen your worries about gas leakage. Make this a part of your annual home maintenance routine. While doing it once a year is already beneficial, you can try to have this service at least twice a year: once before winter, and once after the season.
How to Deal with an Old Furnace
Even if you have yet to spot a problem with your furnace, you should think about getting inspection services. Feel free to contact Holliday Heating & Air us for a furnace inspection, repair or replacement.