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Tips for Keeping Your Oil or Gas Furnace Running Safely and Efficiently

Posted: November 29, 2016

Technician in the basement

Posted: November 29, 2016

We want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your furnace—whether it’s fueled by oil, natural gas or propane gas–and provide a few tips on how to keep it running safely.

Today’s furnaces have a lot of safeguards, but you still need to take some care to avoid safety and performance issues. Here are four tips for keeping your furnace working safely and efficiently.

  1. Schedule annual routine maintenance. We probably sound like a broken record, but we just can’t emphasize enough how important it is to maintain your heating equipment properly. A minimal investment in a tune-up, or even better, a service plan, helps your equipment operate better for longer, and helps prevent many expensive repairs.
  2. Change filters regularly. Dust and dirt are the natural enemy of your furnace (especially your burner) so it’s best to change/clean your filters regularly – about once a month during heating season. If you don’t know how to change the filter in your home heating system, ask our technician to show you the next time he visits your home.
  3. Store flammable liquids properly. Fumes from paint thinner and other volatile liquids can cause a fire hazard if they’re near the open flame of your burner. Store all volatile liquids safely in an area far away from your gas or oil furnace.
  4. Keep the surface of your furnace dust- and dirt-free. Do what you can to keep your furnace clean – and never operate it with the front panel door removed.

We also strongly recommend installing carbon monoxide detectors. Properly maintained furnaces exhaust a harmless amount of carbon monoxide (CO) to the outside. But a poorly maintained or malfunctioning furnace could cause a dangerous buildup of CO inside your home.

CO detectors are a cost-effective way to warn you if a buildup is underway. At minimum, install them in all your bedrooms. (Important Note: if an oil heating system is emitting, carbon monoxide inside your home, you will usually see smoke as a visual clue. A gas heating system usually does not issue a visual warning sign if there is a carbon monoxide problem.).

Routine maintenance is the key to safely operating your gas or oil furnace! If you haven’t taken care of your annual heating system tune-up yet, contact Wilson today for an appointment. We want you to stay safe and comfortable this winter!