Potential Dangers Of Amateur Furnace Repair | Garland, TX
Photo By Maridav at istock
Calling a furnace repair service isn’t something most homeowners look forward to. However, there are many reasons to call a professional at the first sign of a problem. Most furnace issues, as with any other aspect of home maintenance, are much more manageable when they first appear. Fixing a problem earlier can save a lot of time, money, and aggravation later.
Preventative maintenance is the best way to catch problems early and improve energy efficiency. A repair technician can evaluate your entire furnace and inspect gas lines. Any potential issues are addressed before they snowball into expensive repairs.
Keeping your furnace in good condition also safeguards your family’s health. Older furnaces may present more of a risk to a household’s safety than more modern furnaces. Potential carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common risk. Every appliance that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide, or CO. CO is a colorless and odorless gas. Poor ventilation lets the gas build-up within structures. People can’t detect carbon monoxide until symptoms of poisoning appear. Methane and other emissions also build up and contaminate the air.
Nausea and dizziness are the first symptoms of CO poisoning. Small leaks over an extended period of time can cause symptoms commonly associated with the flu, such as body aches, headache, and fatigue. Symptoms can progress quickly and CO poisoning is fatal without intervention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 400 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year.
Carbon monoxide binds to the receptors in blood cells that should carry oxygen. Unfortunately, CO binds much more tightly than oxygen. As CO levels in the blood increase, oxygen is pushed out of receptors. Death occurs as a result of oxygen deprivation. Medical treatment is essential because going outside to escape CO doesn’t fix the problem immediately. Blood cells can’t pick up oxygen and carry it to vital organs until CO in those cells is gone.
CO alarms are essential because the gas is impossible to detect without them. Your local furnace repair professionals in Garland, TX, can help you choose and install appropriate CO alarms throughout your home. Each floor of the house should have at least one alarm. Place CO alarms approximately 15 feet away from stoves and furnaces to avoid misreadings and false alarms. It’s also a good idea to have CO alarms in or near each bedroom. Sadly, many CO-related deaths occur while people are sleeping.
Any heating system can cause a fire. Gas leaks are especially dangerous. One spark can ignite an unknown build-up of gas and destroy a home, although this doesn’t happen very often. Approximately 57% of homes in the United States use natural gas for heating. Inadequate ventilation of old furnaces can also be a fire hazard.
Furnace exteriors, electric or gas, can get quite hot. Make sure no flammable materials are close to the furnace. Furnaces shouldn’t be installed near windows or in bedrooms because curtains, drapes, and blankets are fire risks.
The basement is a common furnace location. It’s very important to keep gasoline containers, cleaning products, stored papers or clothing, paint thinner, and other flammable materials or products a safe distance from the furnace. Keep at least 5 feet of clear space around the furnace in all directions.
A leak in a gas line can occur if lines are corroded or damaged. Punctures in lines outside the house can be the result of digging in the area or even soil shifting due to heavy rains. Leaks outside the home aren’t likely to cause a fire because the gas dissipates, but the heat won’t work very well if gas is leaking out before reaching the furnace. Get everyone, people and pets, out of the house immediately if you smell gas. Always consult a furnace repair professional for suspected gas leaks.
Blocked gas lines aren’t common, but they do happen. Tree roots are a possible culprit. Roots grow continuously, and a root that forces its way into a gas line forms a blockage. Gas may flow around the obstruction slowly or stop flowing altogether. Restricted gas flow causes a significant drop in heat production, while a furnace can’t function at all if lines are completely obstructed.
Consult your local furnace repair professionals to fix a blocked line as soon as possible. An unaddressed blockage probably won’t cause fires or explosions, but long-term obstructions may lead to more widespread damage to your HVAC system.
Several warning signs can indicate a problem. The burner flame should be blue. A flickering flame or a yellow color isn’t normal and may signify a carbon monoxide or gas leak. Unusually high gas or electric bills could mean something is wrong with your furnace. Exceptionally cold weather may account for higher bills, but you should call a furnace repair professional if you’re unable to identify a cause for increased usage.
Electric furnaces are a little different than gas furnaces. Regular maintenance lets furnace repair technicians fix loose wiring connections, check for malfunctioning sequencers, and replace frayed wires that could start a house fire. Faulty wiring also presents a fire risk. Untrained homeowners shouldn’t try to fix gas or electric furnaces. There is always a risk of electrocution while working with appliances or equipment that run on electricity. HVAC professionals are trained to work with electricity and wiring safely.
A furnace warranty can be invalidated due to home repairs. Many manufacturers have rules for repairs covered by warranties. Consult a furnace repair professional to follow any necessary instructions or protocol to comply with the warranty agreement. Sometimes home insurance policies also include limitations or requirements related to furnace repair or maintenance.
Call the professionals at K&S Heating & Air in Garland, TX, for all of your furnace repair concerns. K&S can help with the installation, maintenance, and repair of your entire HVAC system.