October and Fire-Awareness Month
It is no coincidence that October is Fire-Awareness Month. Why? Because heating equipment fires have been the second leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. And nearly half of all home heating fires take place in the upcoming months of December, January, and February.
As we prepare ourselves for colder weather this winter in the Tri-Cities, reliance on heating equipment, and furnaces in particular, will increase. And that raises the likelihood of the potential for house fires.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that a home structure fire occurs every 87 seconds each year.
What role do furnaces and other heating equipment play in these house fires? A significant role. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reported a few years ago that heating appliances, such as space heaters and furnaces, were the second highest cause of residential fires. And more than one in six home fires start from heating equipment, again, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Furnace Inspections Can Prevent House Fires
We know for a fact that there is an increased risk of fire when your furnace does not receive regularly scheduled maintenance services.
Here are just some aspects of a furnace that should be tended to during a maintenance service in order to ensure safe operation, and to prevent fires:
- It is essential to maintain a clean air filter. If it becomes dirty, air flow is obstructed. In addition to causing your furnace to work less efficiently, it can also cause the motor to overheat. This is what could lead to a fire if not addressed promptly.
- Another source of overheating is the dirt that can accumulate around the motor. This is the wrong and a dangerous form of insulation.
- Another dangerous scenario involving heating equipment is faulty parts or bad wiring causing too high voltage or tight bearings.
- A fire hazard emerges when tight or worn motor bearings catch heat when dry and eventually catch fire. That is why bearings need to be regularly lubricated.
- A professional furnace inspection will cover various aspects of the operation of a furnace to make sure it operates smoothly and efficiently. One major aspect of a furnace that should receive attention during an inspection is the ventilation. Proper ventilation is imperative when it comes to preventing a serious consequence, including poor air quality.
- You also need a clean air filter to prevent the buildup of heat in your furnace, which could be dangerous if ignored for a long period of time.
Furnace Safety Tips
Here are some safety tips you can follow to prevent fires as a result of using a gas furnace:
- If you smell gas, turn off the gas at the main valve, and don’t ignite anything (including turning on or off lights and electrical devices), and leave the area immediately. Call the fire department or local gas company from a cell phone or neighbor’s house.
- Check the walls and ceiling around your furnace. If there is soot or discoloration, call a professional to inspect your ventilation.
- Inspect your flue pipes and seams. Make sure they are in place. Soot can indicate that your have a dirty, inefficient furnace and/or a faulty ventilation system.
Check the area around your furnace. Many furnace fires are the result of flammable objects and substances near the furnace. Keep paper, trash, paint, and other flammable material far away from your furnace.
- Regularly clean and vacuum the area around your furnace.
- Maintain a child-free zone around your furnace.
- Check your furnace filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to clean or replace it. This will also improve your airflow and furnace efficiency.
- Check your furnace flame and make sure it is blue. If it is any other color, it needs to be inspected by a professional.
- Keep operational fire extinguishers handy.
- Plan and memorize a fire escape plan. Make sure everyone knows the safe meeting place.
Advantages of a Furnace Inspection
Make sure your furnace is inspected by professional, certified technicians like the ones at Apollo. When one of our expert technicians inspects your furnace, they will very thorough and ensure that your furnace works at peak efficiency, with safety being the primary objective.
They will check various aspects of your furnace such as: the flue, vent connections, physical condition of heating components, gas pressure, flame color, burner combustion, dirt and cracks, fuel input, airflow, thermostat, electrical connections, and more.
Apollo highly trained technicians will take their time to examine your heating unit to determine the best course of action during the repair process. Rest assured, we won’t leave until your heating system is operating at full effectiveness!
Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for a Home and Commercial Furnace Inspection
Look to the HVAC experts at Apollo to ensure your energy system is in excellent condition and operating at optimal efficiency so you will be warm and comfortable this coming winter. Our experienced team of highly trained technicians will work with you and exceed your expectations during HVAC repairs and furnace replacements.
Apollo is also the Northwest leading provider for heating services for homes and businesses. We not only evaluate and help you control the comfort and quality of your home’s air, we can also offer solutions for managing your energy costs. Our maintenance service optimizes the efficiency of your system, while also reducing the likelihood of a mechanical breakdown, for one low price.
Learn more by contacting Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning! Call us at (509) 396-COLD (2653).