In 2008 17% of all reported home fires were caused by home heating devices. With cooler temperatures on the way is your home heating system ready to go?
When you first turn on a gas or electric furnace that has not been used for months it will most likely have a build-up of dust and dirt on heating elements that can cause a burning smell and even a light haze of white smoke when it is turned on for the first time in a season. This is normal and should disappear shortly after turning on the furnace.
If the furnace is releasing a black smoke and starts to rumble leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1.
Before you get to this point, you should do an inspection of your furnace before turning it on.
- Replace or clean the filter. A new filter ensures the furnace is running at peak performance, and can save you money on your energy bills.
- Have your furnace checked by a professional. Over time furnaces can develop small cracks that are not visible to the naked eye. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can leak through these cracks.
- Make sure the burner area of the furnace is clean.
- Move any combustible material such as paint thinners, gasoline, etc. away from the furnace.
- Check to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly.