If your home has a furnace, the room it’s located in is not at the top of your list of favourite places. After all, it’s usually cramped, dark, and full of unsightly heating equipment. However, even though you may not enjoy spending time in your furnace room, it’s essential to know some furnace room safety tips. Why? Because furnace rooms can be dangerous places if they’re not well-maintained.
Your furnace room is home to some of your house’s most important (and dangerous) mechanical components. From your furnace and water heater to your electrical panel and main water shutoff valve, everything in your furnace room plays a vital role in keeping your home up and running. That’s why it’s essential to take some time to familiarize yourself with your furnace room and understand the basics of furnace safety.
Here are five safety tips every homeowner should know about their furnace room.
Keep Combustibles Away From Your Furnace
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends keeping combustible materials at least three feet away from your furnace. It includes things like wood, paper, gasoline, and cleaning products.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is usually deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. That’s why it’s so important to use a carbon monoxide detector in your furnace room—and to ensure that it’s working correctly. Test it monthly and replace the batteries twice a year.
Inspect Your Furnace Regularly
You should have your furnace inspected by a certified technician at least once a year—preferably before winter hits. But you should also regularly inspect it to ensure there isn’t anything wrong with it. Look for signs of damage, and listen for strange noises from the unit. Give your technician a call immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Know How to Turn Off Your Gas Supply in Case of An Emergency
If there is ever a gas leak in your home, you first need to turn off the gas supply at the main shutoff valve—which is usually located near your gas meter outside of your home. But if you have an emergency inside of your home, you need to know how to turn off the gas supply at the shutoff valve inside your home, which is usually located next to the furnace itself.
If you don’t know how to turn off the gas supply at either of these valves, ask your technician to show you how before they leave.
Ventilate and Make Space
Furnaces produce carbon monoxide as a by-product of combustion. That’s why ensuring that you properly ventilate your furnace room is essential. Connect the exhaust pipe to the furnace that goes up and out through the roof.
In addition to proper ventilation, you also need to make sure that there’s enough space around your furnace for it to operate safely. The NFPA recommends keeping a clearance of at least two feet on all sides of the furnace—and three feet if possible.
Your furnace room may not be the most pleasant place in your home, but it’s essential to take some time to familiarize yourself with it. These are just a few simple things you can do to ensure that your furnace room is as safe as possible this winter season—so take some time to do them today!
And if you have any general questions about furnaces or HVAC systems, please don’t hesitate to call or email us anytime—we’re always happy to help!