Dos and Don’ts for Maintaining Your Heating & Cooling System

Furnaces are some of the most dangerous appliances to have in your home, and of course, sometimes the most necessary. It is therefore vitally important to know how to properly handle a home furnace when attempting to install and maintain systems in your space.

 DOs:

  • Annual inspections are necessary for keeping your furnace up to standards, so always hire a professional to come by and look over your furnace for your own safety.
  • In colder months, furnaces are used continuously and therefore require their filters be cleaned regularly and occasionally replaced entirely in order for the furnace to continue working properly and safely.
  • Allow adequate airflow around the units so the combustion mechanism can function, and to provide safe ventilation. These tips are important in preventing a carbon monoxide leak, which can be fatal if unnoticed due to carbon monoxide being an invisible, odorless, and highly toxic gas.

 DON’Ts:

  • Never obstruct the airflow around your furnace, or otherwise interrupt ventilation. This includes covering your furnace, storing things on/around it, including trash and debris, and blocking the return air grills. Blocked intake can cause your furnace to malfunction, at best, which can result in a fiery explosion or a carbon monoxide leak, at worst
  • Remember that most furnaces use a mechanism that burns combustible gas in order to generate heat, so never have it exposed to, or placed near an open flame or any other combustible materials.
  • Insulating materials can also present a fire hazard, so they should be kept away from working furnaces at all times.
  • Furthermore, in the interest of avoiding a fiery explosion, you should never store flammable chemicals like cleaning supplies near your furnace. The air around the furnace should also be kept clear of any combustible fumes and vapors that might waft toward the heating mechanism inside the furnace. Many household items contain the kind of harmful vapors that should be kept away from any heating & cooling units in your home, and burning them in your furnace may have a deteriorating effect on the furnace’s heat exchangers.
  • Never replace damaged parts with any items that are not factory-authorized replacements. The quality may not be high enough to meet safety standards, which can result in a dangerous malfunction. Be sure to hire a trusted professional to inspect and repair your furnace rather than attempting to repair it yourself.