When your furnace sits idle through the warm months of the year, dust and debris can accumulate on the heater coils. The first time you turn on the the furnace after months of not using it, the dust will “burn off” but, depending on the amount of dust on the system, instead of burning off, the dust could catch fire.
This why it is recommended to have you furnace cleaned at least once a year and, preferably, before turning it on for the first time each year.
Additionally, gas furnaces need proper ventilation to function as intended. They must be installed with sufficient clearances from walls and ceiling and other obstructions. Shelving, boxes, or other items stored too close to a furnace will impede the air flow and create a fire hazard.
Combustible materials stored near a furnace create the possibility of flash-fire or explosion. Gasoline, solvents, and other volatile substances emit vapors that can be ignited by the heat or flame inside a gas furnace. Paper, cloth, or other flammable items left too close to a furnace could catch fire.
Where does CO come from?
CO is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that blocks your body’s ability to absorb oxygen. In gas-fired appliances CO is produced when natural gas burns incompletely. Carbon monoxide may come from several sources in your home including fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters and boilers.
This may happen if:
Also Condensation on windows, plants dying, and/or having an entire family sick at the same time can be indicators that there are toxic levels of CO in your home.
Typically, there should be a CO alarm placed within five feet of every bedroom and they should be placed near a smoke alarm. By doing this you hear the alarms if you are sleeping and also reminds you to examine and change the batteries of both alarms at the same time.
By law CO alarms are currently only mandatory in new homes. Carbon Monoxide alarms can be hardwired to your home or battery operated.T he batteries should be replaces every six months. CO alarms should be replaced every seven years.
When buying a CO alarm, look for one with a digital read out if possible. Vocal alarms allow you to record an message with your own voice, which has been shown to be more effective especially when alerting your family members.
Maintaining and servicing your heating appliance(new or old) annually.
Protect your family by booking maintenance appointments once a year for your furnace, gas fireplace, boiler and hot water tank.