How Dangerous Is a Poorly Maintained Furnace?


You probably know the drill: you must maintain your home's HVAC system to keep it running efficiently. A poorly maintained system will use more energy to generate less heat, ultimately costing you extra money on your utility bills while making your home less comfortable. Unfortunately, these aren't the only consequences of ignoring your home's heating needs.

If you use a natural gas furnace to heat your home, you're generating energy through a process of controlled combustion. This process not only generates heat but also produces harmful combustion byproducts. While a well-maintained furnace has no issues safely rejecting these gases, the situation may be different with a poorly maintained heating system.

How Does Your Furnace Keep You Safe?

A typical furnace heats the air in your home indirectly. The flame burns in a combustion chamber which directs hot gas through a heat exchanger and, ultimately, out of your home. The heat exchanger extracts energy from the combustion gases as they pass through, allowing the heat to warm the air in your home without exposing you to harmful chemicals.

Modern furnaces also rely on various safety features to ensure that there aren't any problems that can interfere with this process. For example, a draft sensor checks to ensure that your furnace's draft blower can pull exhaust gases through the flue. Additional sensors check for other dangerous conditions, such as flame roll-out or overheating.

The goal of this approach is twofold. First, the design of the system helps protect you during normal operation. However, furnace designers understand that parts can break, and your system may not always function normally. The various sensors in your furnace exist for this reason: they confirm that everything is working correctly and shut the system down if there's a problem.

Why Is Maintenance Critical for Safety?

Many parts that keep your furnace safe are sensitive to maintenance issues. In particular, it's possible to damage or even crack your heat exchanger by restricting airflow with a dirty filter. The build-up of soot and debris on your burners can also cause problems, resulting in a furnace that burns less cleanly and safely. Even the sensors in your furnace can become gunked up and require periodic testing.

Routine annual maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid the many potential safety problems resulting from a poorly maintained furnace. A technician will inspect and clean these critical safety components and look for problems that may put you at risk. By keeping up with your annual residential heating maintenance, you'll ensure your furnace runs as safely and efficiently as its designers intended.


28 July 2022

Inspecting Your Air Ducts

Last summer, I began to get extremely hot in my home. My air conditioning system couldn’t adequately keep my home cool anymore. Therefore, I contacted an experienced HVAC contractor. This individual visited my home and thoroughly inspected my unit. If your air conditioner isn’t working like it once did, your air ducts may be clogged up. Thankfully, an expert HVAC contractor can determine if faulty air ducts are the cause of the hot temperatures inside your home. On this blog, you will discover how an HVAC contractor can properly inspect your air ducts. Stay cool and comfortable during the hot summer months!