How Safe Is Your Furnace?

If your gas-powered furnace is over 10 years old, it may no longer be safe. Beware of these potential dangers!

Gas leaks

If your gas-powered system is older or has been poorly maintained, damaged valves can cause a leak to occur. Warning signs to look for include an unpleasant sulfur smell, an orange or yellow pilot light, a hissing sound, or even dead houseplants. Gas line leaks can also make you feel sick, similar to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell gas and can track it back to your furnace, immediately turn off the unit, evacuate the household, and call the fire department.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

An older gas furnace can also be dangerous because of the risks of ca⁠rbon monoxide poisoning from a cracked heat exchanger, which can be deadly. Because it’s a colorless, odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels, carbon monoxide is nearly undetectable. Beware of flu-like symptoms and ensure your carbon monoxide detector is operating correctly and has fresh batteries!

Fire hazard

When you turn your furnace on for the first time of the season, you may smell oil, gas, or a burning odor. If you continue smelling these odors, it’s a sign something is not working properly. These are also signs your furnace could pose a safety hazard to your home and family. Gas and oil are highly flammable, so it’s best to call a professional immediately if you have concerns.

⁠⁠⁠What can you do to stay safe? ⁠

Regular maintenance will ensure your system is operating safely and efficiently.  You can always choose to repair your system if you experience any of the above warning signs, but it may be best to replace – especially if your furnace is over 10 years old. Benefits of a new system are higher efficiency, lower utility bills, increased comfort and peace of mind that your family is safe and secure.

Have questions? Let us know! Our team is available 24/7 at (757) 868-7600! ⁠

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