When should you get a furnace checked for safety? Before it starts a fire!

An annual heating safety “tune-up” is a great home maintenance investment you can make. Homeowners who neglect it tend to run into problems such as:

  1. Overpayment on utility bills (gas)
  2. Carbon monoxide poisoning from improper combustion
  3. Higher repair costs

This is a small list but it can have tremendous effects, not to mention the inconvenience of a cold home when the furnace fails to properly operate.

What items should be checked during a heating safety inspection?

  • Combustion; Is Carbon monoxide being produced?
  • Heat Exchangers; Are there any cracks that will lead exhaust gas into your home?
  • Ignition Modules
  • Controls
  • Blowers and Capacitors

Checking these items is a very complex process that requires certified technicians to do it properly. Ask for a NATE-certified technician for your furnace safety inspection to ensure the job is done right.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is deadly and is known as the silent killer. According to the CDC, at least 430 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. It can form whenever fuel is burned and can build up in a home and kill inhabitants that breathe it in. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, now is the time to get one. Oftentimes, people won’t know carbon monoxide is in the air until it’s too late.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by breathing in carbon monoxide. If breathed in, the CO will displace the oxygen in your body and make you pass out or kill you.

Those that breathe it in may experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If you feel this happening to you, the best thing to do at that moment is to leave your house. Call 911 if you think you have a carbon monoxide leak in your home. Firefighters are trained to find and stop carbon monoxide leaks before they cause any more harm to you and your family.

When the danger is over, having an HVAC service technician perform a heating safety inspection and installing a carbon monoxide detector could save you from future issues.

How Does A Heating Safety Inspection Protect You From CO Poisoning?

In Birmingham, Alabama, we use furnaces to warm our homes. During every safety inspection and furnace tune-up, a professional HVAC service technician should inspect the heat transfer chambers for deterioration or holes. These are caused by the expansion and contractions of the metals due to the warming and cooling of the chambers. Anytime the chambers are overheated due to low airflow or improper firing of the furnace the metal will expand and thin more than the manufacturer designed.

Rust is the next culprit for leaks in furnace chambers. Any water that sits on the metal surface will cause rust to occur. Water could come from leaks in the AC coil or dripping from the catch pan. Water trails on the furnace are usually an indication of this leak.

There are three methods used to test for carbon monoxide leakage from the heat chambers. They are camera inspection, smoke pencil, and gas detecting meters called CGI’s (Combustible Gas Indicator). Each method has its pros and cons but they are reliable if used properly.

What If I Don’t Get It Fixed?

Most people never think about their heating system until it breaks down. That’s because most gas furnaces are very reliable and they are “out of sight, out of mind.”

The problem is, despite its reliability, your furnace could have a catastrophic failure at any time, and that failure could result in a gas leak, fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning. The only way to prevent that type of disaster is with regular heating safety inspections of your system. A proper inspection and tune-up is a must—every year. That’s what every furnace manufacturer recommends.

When you have your tune-up and safety inspection performed, you’ll not only be protecting yourself from potential hazards, you’ll also be increasing the efficiency of your system, improving your air quality, and preventing untimely breakdowns that, at the very least, will leave you uncomfortable, and most likely will occur at the worst possible time.

Our Tune-up and Safety Inspection is very thorough and will take about an hour and a half to perform. We will do everything necessary to make sure your system is in tip-top shape including checking, cleaning, and testing anything that could lead to a future problem (at least 25 items). We’ll even inspect your ductwork and re-program your thermostat if necessary.

Keeping you safe and your HVAC system working properly is our goal. If you run into any issues, rest assured Freedom will be there to save the day!

You can visit our Safety Inspection page for more information or call us at (205) 444-4444.