In Canada, we depend on our heating systems. During our long winters, our furnace is what keeps our house cozy and comfortable for our family. But while our heating system may seem simple enough — the temperature drops too low and the furnace just magically turns on, they’re actually quite complex, and a lot of things can go wrong. Here’s what you should know about avoiding catastrophic furnace failure.
Both electrical and gas furnaces can cause house fires if they’re old or malfunctioning. In an electrical furnace, wires can become loose leaving a gap in the circuit that the electricity arcs to complete, or wires can get crossed, causing a short. In both cases, the wiring heats up to thousands of degrees. The components around the wires begin to melt or burn. While a light burning smell coming from your vents isn’t unusual in early autumn as the heat burns away the dust that has collected all summer, if you ever smell smoke or burning coming from the furnace itself, you should immediately turn the furnace off and call for help!
A malfunctioning gas furnace can cause an even bigger calamity. Typically, the furnace will begin to release more gas than it can use. The excess gas will collect within the furnace itself or spread out to the rest of your home. When a candle is lit (or another source of spark/heat is struck), all the gas, which has spread throughout your entire home, ignites.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Another issue that’s just as serious as a house fire is a carbon monoxide leak. When a furnace is too large for the home it’s heating, or if it’s not burning as efficiently as it should, it may be producing more carbon monoxide gas than can safely disperse out of your house. This puts your family as risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause dizziness, confusion, vomiting, and even death. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your house to protect your loved ones.
We don’t want Calgarians to have to worry about potential fires or CO poisoning. And fortunately, a furnace that is regularly inspected and in good repair is not a danger to your home or family. The best way to ensure your furnace is running optimally and you’re staying on top of necessary maintenance is to invest in an annual furnace inspection. A professional thumbs up will give you the peace of mind you need to trust your furnace all winter long.
Is your furnace quite old? Can you recall the last time an expert inspected it? If not, it’s probably time to give the friendly professionals at Plumbing Paramedics a call. Our team of certified furnace technicians will double check that everything is running smoothly and safely. Call us today!