5 Safety Best Practices for Gas Furnaces in Homes

A gas furnace is a major appliance that is often used to heat homes in colder climates. Although furnaces are generally safe, some safety best practices should be followed to ensure the safety of you and your family.

Experts note that cases of carbon monoxide poisoning spike during winter, and many of these are due to gas furnaces.

Here are some safety best-practices to keep in mind:

1. Read the Owner’s Manual Before Operating the Furnace

The first best practice is to always read the owner’s manual before operating the furnace. The manual will contain important information about the safe operation of the furnace as well as troubleshooting tips.

Furnace repair experts note that familiarizing yourself with the manual will help you operate the furnace safely and reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.

The owner’s manual will include information like:

  • The minimum and maximum temperatures that the furnace can be set to
  • The safe way to light the pilot light
  • How to clean or replace the air filter
  • How to ensure proper ventilation for your furnace

2. Have The Furnace Professionally Inspected and Serviced On an Annual Basis

It’s important to have your furnace professionally inspected and serviced annually to ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently. A trained professional will be able to identify any potential safety hazards and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. Some of the common checks for gas furnace installations include:

  • Inspecting the heat exchanger for cracks or corrosion
  • Inspecting the flue pipe for leaks
  • Checking the burner assembly for proper operation
  • Inspecting the pilot light and igniter
  • Testing for carbon monoxide leaks
  • Replacing the air filter to ensure proper airflow and improved indoor air quality
  • Diagnosing any strange noises coming from the furnace
  • Adjusting the gas pressure
  • Calibrating the thermostat to ensure accurate temperature control

3. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector Near The Furnace

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be produced by gas furnaces when they’re not operating properly. If inhaled, carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems or even death.

To help mitigate this risk, it is important to install a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and to regularly test it to ensure that it is working properly.

4. Do Not Use Any Flammable Liquids Near The Furnace

Flammable liquids should never be used near a gas furnace as they can easily ignite, causing a fire hazard. If you must use flammable liquids near the furnace, follow all safety precautions outlined in the owner’s manual and those provided by the manufacturer of the liquid. Some of the common flammable liquids that should be avoided near furnaces include:

  • Gasoline
  • Propane
  • Kerosene
  • Paint thinner
  • Alcohol

5. Do Not Store Any Combustible Materials Near The Furnace


Never store combustible materials near the furnace, as they could easily catch fire if the furnace were to malfunction. This includes things like cleaning supplies, wood, and paper products.

Always store combustible materials in a safe, secure location where they cannot come into contact with open flames or sparks from the furnace.

This also means ensuring proper ventilation around your furnace. That means:

  • Never block the flow of air to the furnace with furniture or other objects
  • Do not store anything in the area immediately around the furnace
  • Never close off vents that are connected to the furnace

You Should Never Ignore Furnace Safety

In conclusion, furnace safety is something that you should never ignore. Taking the proper precautions can help ensure that your family stays safe and comfortable all winter long. If you have any questions or concerns about your furnace, be sure to contact a qualified heating specialist.

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