November 18, 2016
Heating your home with a malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment can prove quite dangerous. It can pose a fire hazard, putting the safety of your family at risk.
Heating equipment is responsible for 16 percent of residential fires and the consequences of these fires are serious. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, heating equipment contributes to about 19 percent of all deadly fires. Each day, there are about seven cases reported, which means, one or two deaths are caused by HVAC systems every day.
It is important for homeowners to be aware of some of the common causes of heating equipment failures and fires. In this post, St. Louis HVAC technicians will share some tips to properly use and maintain heating systems for the safest operation possible.
Do not leave the space heater unattended
Space heaters are a great way to add warmth to a cold room, however, they should be used sparingly. Space heaters are known to the biggest contributor to home fires compared to all other heating equipment. So, before you start using your space heater, you should check your heating unit, insulation, air sealing and ductwork to identify any sources of drafts that may be causing creating chilly or drafty spots in your room.
Ensure that your chimney is clean
Malfunctioning heating equipment, especially chimneys are another major cause of residential fires. So make sure they are cleaned regularly and properly maintained to avoid the buildup of creosote, which is the buildup of a combination of smoke, gases, vapor, tar, and ash with natural condensation. This substance sticks to the sides of chimneys and is highly combustible. Regular cleaning can help avoid fires.
Watch out for HVAC maintenance issues
Your HVAC system can breakdown and degrade with time, and this degradation can result in dangerous conditions. It may develop wiring issues that can cause shorts and fires.
A cracked heat exchanger is another problem that poses fire risk as well as carbon monoxide poisoning risk. Leaking fuel lines can prove disastrous as well because natural gas or any other fuel can instantly catch fire that can spread quickly.
Keep the area around your heating unit clear
Flammable materials such as furniture, clothes, curtains, papers, and books can spread a fire quickly. If you have your furnace in the basement or attic chances are that there will be a lot of flammable products around that can pose a fire hazard. According to the NFPA, crowding heating equipment is a major contributor to deadly fires, and contributes to combustion in nearly 56 percent of the cases. So, make sure the area around your heat pump, furnace, and other heating equipment is free from all clutter.
Do you think your heating equipment poses fire hazard and needs a tune-up? Get in touch with our St. Louis HVAC technicians now.