Tips For Firing Up Your Furnace For The First Time

It is that time of year again folks, when Mother Nature decides to turn those autumn temperatures into at and below freezing levels. For most people across the country, this means cranking up the heat and dialing up the old thermostat a few notches. You can always count on your trusty furnace to provide an adequate amount of warmth and comfort into the house, but there are a few things to keep in mind before firing it up this year.

Check your Furnace First

We recommend performing a full furnace tune-up twice each year, once in the spring and in the fall. This ensures your system will function optimally without any major issues, and allows you to inspect the main components for any potential damage.

Too many homeowners make the mistake of going a year or longer without having a licensed HVAC contractor assess the condition of their home heating system. It is this kind of irresponsibility, from a maintenance perspective, that can lead to some very costly repairs and long-term problems.

It is unfortunate, but also not uncommon for the number of heating-related fires to increase markedly at the beginning of the winter season. While there is always a high risk for these types of accidents when running a furnace or other heating system (gas stoves and wood burning fireplaces are particularly dangerous), the initial ignition phase tends to be the worse for more than one reason.

Oftentimes, this is due to faulty furnace equipment, whether that is an improperly functioning pilot light or the result of something more severe. Basic, preventative maintenance can thus mean a big difference in terms of your family’s safety, so it is definitely worth keeping this advice in mind!

Heating season safety tips

First things first, upon activating the pilot light, check the color of the flame to make sure it is a shade of solid blue. Problems begin to arise when an excessive amount of orange is present, especially when the flame tends to produce a tornado-like effect. In order to work correctly, there needs to be just the right amount of gas. It is not difficult to understand what can happen when there is too much. If you notice there is a problem, immediately turn off the pilot light and call an HVAC contractor to come perform a service inspection.

Cracked heat exchangers are just as common and a far more dangerous issue to have with your furnace, since structural defects with these devices can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. This odorless, colorless gas has been dubbed “the silent killer,” and claims the lives of many unsuspecting homeowners and their families each year. As such, you always want to have a carbon monoxide detector installed in close proximity to your furnace. Evacuate the premises until help arrives if you suspect there is a gas leak. Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal to smell burning dust for up to 30 minutes when starting your furnace, but likewise if this does not dissipate in a reasonable amount of time, make the call for help.

Walnut Creek Heating & Air Conditioning specializes in offering residential heating system maintenance, service, and installation. We have been Diamond-certified for two consecutive years, and continually strive to exceed our customers’ expectations. Feel free to give us a call anytime!

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