Is Your Heater or Furnace Ready for the Cold Season?

Here in California, we don’t tend to use heaters and furnaces for most of the year. In fact, other than those couple months in the middle of winter, your furnace or heater may go entirely untouched. That may mean saving on heating costs, but it can also lead to several other issues. When your heater sits for that long, it may have problems that you’re not aware of. Here are some problems that a heater may accumulate after months of being unused:

1. Fire Hazards

When you leave anything alone in a home for too long, it starts gathering dust. Dust, debris, spider webs (and spiders!), and other material can gather inside your heater. Check your return and supply vents for dust and webs, and see if any dust has built up on the heating components themselves. Usually, you can wipe these down yourself. Be sure to do this before you turn the heater for the first time. Otherwise, your home will smell a little “burnt” as your heater burns off all of that dust and debris! Even above that, debris could also catch fire, which is extremely dangerous.

2. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is called the “silent, cold weather killer.” Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced when fuels are burned. Your stove, furnace, water heater, etc. can produce carbon monoxide, though usually in small, safe amounts. However, an old, poorly ventilated, broken, or improperly maintained furnace can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. The Center for Disease Control recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector. They also recommend an annual maintenance check for your furnace or heating system. This gas can kill, and infants and the elderly are particularly at risk. Be sure to safeguard your home today.

3. Obstructions

Does your garage always seem way too full? In warmer seasons, it may seem tempting to fill up all that extra space near your furnace with beach chairs, old boxes, furniture, and more. It’s so easy to forget about that pile of stuff before you turn your heater on. Obstructions in front of your furnace, especially flammable ones, can be very dangerous. They can catch fire, or stop your furnace from working properly. Be sure to remove anything within a couple feet of your heater before turning it on this season.

This season, beat the rush when it comes to your heater maintenance. Don’t wait until the coldest day of the year to get your furnace checked. Instead, get your annual check today, before you’re left out in the cold! Be sure to install your carbon monoxide detector, remove obstructions, and remove any dust that you can see. Then, call Zierman Plumbing today for your professional heater and furnace maintenance. We will examine all heater and furnace components, make you aware of any issues, and do a full cleaning of your appliance. We will also ensure proper ventilation, and that all parts are in full working order. We’re expecting a lot of heater repair and maintenance calls once it gets colder, so be sure to beat the rush by calling today!

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