First off, we’d like to clarify and say that maintenance isn’t optional for any HVAC system. Neglecting maintenance is the surest way to shorten the lifespan of your system and to spend more money on monthly energy bills.
But we also don’t want to understate the importance of getting maintenance for natural gas furnaces in particular. While gas furnaces in Nanuet are indeed safe to use, that can only be true when they are regularly inspected and tuned-up.
If you smell that familiar smell of rotten eggs and sulfur around your furnace, you should immediately evacuate and call the utility company or the fire department. It’s a sure sign that you have a gas leak.
The true danger of gas leaks occurs when gas is leaked into a contained area—such as in your home. You don’t want to take any risks of a gas leak in your home—even flipping a light switch can be enough to ignite a gas leak.
Some causes of a gas leak in your furnace could include:
- Cracked Heat Exchanger: The heat exchanger is the main component that turns combusted fuel into heated air. A crack in the heat exchanger can allow unburned gas to enter your home.
- Back Drafting Furnace: Back drafting commonly occurs when the flue pipe is clogged, resulting in natural gas back drafting into your home.
- Gas Line Leak: Gas lines can corrode or simply become leaky at their valves. They can also happen if accidental damage occurs to the line.
Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and highly poisonous gas that results when the natural gas is not completely burned. The only way to detect it is with carbon monoxide detectors (a requirement for anyone running gas appliances in their home!).
The causes of carbon monoxide leaks are like that of gas leaks. Both a cracked heat exchanger and a back-drafting furnace can flood carbon monoxide back into the home. However, there are more complex reasons that a CO leak can occur, but they can almost always be prevented with regular furnace maintenance.
With the start of colder temperatures every year, many homeowners will turn their furnaces back on without a second thought. However, this can be a mistake. Dust, dirt, and other factors can take their toll on your furnace and create the conditions for a fire hazard.
- Furnace Rollout: If your furnace is suffering from restricted airflow, it may try to consume more oxygen, resulting in the flames “rolling out” of the combustion chamber.
- Blocked Flue: Sometimes, animals may find that the flue is the perfect place to build their nest. The flue needs to be inspected with every maintenance check.
- Overheating: Dirty air filters, dirty motors, and faulty parts can create the conditions to overheat the furnace. If the limit switch is not working properly, the furnace will not be able to shut itself off.
Maintenance with an amateur doesn’t count! Only rely on a qualified professional to perform your gas furnace maintenance. Contact EB Design Air Inc. today to schedule a service.