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Safety Tips for an Electric Furnace

stripped-electrical-wireWe’ve often talked about maintaining safety with gas furnaces, which is a topic that concerns many homeowners. But what about electric furnaces? Some homes must rely on this type of heater because they lack a connection to a gas main. Are electric furnaces much safer? Is there any reason to worry about them?

An electric furnace doesn’t pose any danger of toxic gas leaks the way a natural gas furnace might. However, electric furnaces are powerful electronic devices and can potentially start fires. Fortunately, this problem is easy to avoid if you take some basic steps.

Below are ways to make sure your electric furnace in Madera, CA keeps your family warm without putting them in danger.

Have the furnace professionally installed

This is the first step when it comes to any HVAC system, and it’s the most important one for safety. When you have licensed HVAC technicians select, size, and install an electric furnace, you’ve already conquered the majority of potential safety issues. The technicians will use a reliable brand and model with a history of safety and see that it’s installed so it won’t create the short circuits or power surges that may lead to fires.

Have the furnace maintained every year

This also applies to every type of heating system. Unfortunately, with electric furnaces homeowners are more likely to think annual maintenance isn’t necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maintenance each fall gives an experienced technician the opportunity to find loose wiring connections, frayed wires, malfunctioning sequencers, and other issues that can trigger electrical fires.

Clear the area around the furnace

The exterior of an electric furnace cabinet heats up just like a gas furnace, and you don’t want anything flammable stored near it or anything sensitive to heat—this includes gasoline, piles of newspapers, paint thinner, cleaners, etc. We generally recommend clearing out five feet around the furnace. This also helps technicians access it in case of repairs, as well as for maintenance.

Change the filter regularly

This is something we frequently talk about, but we haven’t often mentioned that a clogged furnace filter can create safety hazards. An electric furnace is more likely to overheat with a clogged filter trapping more air. As with a clogged dryer vent, much of the debris caught in the filter is highly flammable, increasing the chance of fire breaking out in the furnace.

Only let professionals repair the furnace

This is another common mistake people make about electric furnaces—they assume these appliances can be fixed with “do-it-yourself” methods, unlike gas furnaces. It’s not true. An electric furnace is a powerful and tricky piece of machinery, and you don’t want to be poking around inside of it unless you’re trained to work on them. You risk hurting yourself or damaging your property.

When you think you have a broken electric furnace, you can trust our experts to take care of the job in safety. We can also replace an old, poorly installed electric furnace with a new one installed right!

At Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning, “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success” since 1952. Leave all your heating repairs to our experts.

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