Your gas furnace is going to turn on soon and settle in for another winter of warming your home. You want to make sure the furnace not only runs reliably, but also runs safely. Below we’ve listed a few tips that will help your family relax and enjoy a safe winter with a natural gas furnace in Fresno, CA.
Know the smell of gas leaks and how to react
You’ve probably heard that carbon monoxide is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, making it difficult to detect. However, natural gas manufacturers place a chemical called mercaptan into the gas to give it a distinct—and unpleasant—smell. Mercaptan is harmless, but it smells like rotten eggs—a smell most people associate with sulfur. If you notice this smell in your home, you may have a dangerous gas leak. Don’t wait to find out if it’s from the furnace or not! Leave your house right away, and don’t attempt to call for help while still inside.
Once you’re out of the house, call the gas company for assistance. If the gas company determines it’s your furnace at fault for the leak, you can arrange for us to repair it. (But don’t go back into the house until authorities tell you it’s safe again.)
Keep the furnace professionally maintained
We often talk about the importance of professional inspections and tune-ups for furnaces, and we offer our Ultimate Service Agreement to deliver the best regular maintenance to our customers. This maintenance is an essential part of keeping a furnace running safely. During maintenance, our technicians will look for places where gas might escape, such as cracks in the exchanger. This gives you time to have the furnace repaired (or replaced) before the coldest weather arrives.
Locate the gas shut-off valve
Do you know where the shut-off valve for your natural gas line is? In some emergencies, you’ll need to shut off the gas supply with this valve, so make sure you and other adults in the house know its location. You may want to keep a screwdriver or wrench near it in case it gets stuck.
Clear the area around the gas furnace
Because gas furnaces are often located in basements, garages, and closets—areas also used for storage—they might have objects stacked close to them. However, you want your gas furnace to be clear on all sides. This helps prevent combustion dangers. Make sure any object that’s highly combustible (such as paint thinner) is kept far away from the furnace.
Test the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
We recommend testing the CO and smoke detectors in your home every six months. Press the “test” button on the front of each unit to see if it makes a beeping sound. If it doesn’t, arrange to have it repaired or replaced. If it is battery-powered, put in fresh batteries or replace with new CO and smoke detectors that have a 10-year battery life. If you don’t have CO detectors, you need to have them put in right away! We offer installation of CO detectors and smoke detectors for our customers.
You can rely on us for all your furnace needs: we’re able to handle HVAC jobs the average HVAC company might not be able to handle.