When Was The last Time Your Furnace Was Checked?
It’s happened to many of us, on the coldest day of the year, you come home or wake up to a cold house. The furnace has quit, leaving you scrambling to get it fixed.
You can avoid this situation by having a licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician check your furnace before the winter begins. “A well-maintained furnace is more likely to be there for you on the coldest days of the year,” says Jamie Milner, a professional engineer and the vice president of pipeline integrity and safety for Enbridge Gas Distribution.
According to Enbridge, keeping your fuel-burning equipment maintained is also the first line of defence in protecting your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure. Not to mention that much like your car, regular maintenance may help you avoid larger issues and costly repairs.
Improper maintenance of fuel-burning equipment can cause CO to build up. Sometimes called the silent killer, it is very toxic and has no odour, taste or colour.
And as a second line of defence, install CO alarms. “The importance of having carbon monoxide alarms is heightened during the winter months when we keep doors and windows closed and increase our use of fuel-burning equipment,” adds Milner.
Here are some tips for installing and maintaining the CO alarms in your home:
• Before you begin, read the operating instructions to make sure you understand the function, maintenance and expiry date.
• Ensure it is approved by a recognized certification body accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, and has the appropriate Certification Mark for Canada.
• Install alarms near your home’s primary sleeping area, near rooms where your fuel-burning appliances are located, and near potential sources of CO. We are most susceptible to the effects of CO when we’re asleep.
• Ensure nothing such as furniture or draperies blocks air flow to the alarms.
And remember, if your CO alarm sounds, open windows and doors and evaluate your situation. If anyone is experiencing the flu-like symptoms of CO exposure, seek medical help or call 911.
You can learn more about this topic at enbridgegas.com/safety.