Keep Warm, Keep Safe, Keep Zap-Free!
For some homeowners, an electric furnace is a practical, affordable home heating solution. But electric furnaces do pose a number of safety hazards, including the risk of electrocution and fire. If you are thinking of installing an electric furnace this winter or already have an electric furnace in your home, please be sure to keep these important tips in mind for optimal performance and safety:
Purchase a Certified, Name Brand Electric Furnace.
An electric furnace is a significant investment and will be essential in keeping your home warm and comfortable during cold weather. Never buy a furnace from a company you’re not familiar with; look for name brand units with a trusted reputation. Ask your friends and neighbors for references, and compare companies that have been in business for several years. Only buy a furnace that has been thoroughly tested and certified by an independent, recognized professional.
Make Sure Your Electric Furnace is Installed Correctly.
Proper installation is crucial to the efficient, safe operation of your electric furnace. Short circuits or loose connections can cause dangerous power surges or electrical fires. To ensure your electric furnace installation is conducted properly, hire only a licensed professional contractor or electrician with a solid reputation.
Clean and Change the Furnace Filter Often.
The filter keeps dirt and airborne pollutants out of your home. An electric furnace filter should be cleaned or replaced every three to four months. This will maintain good air quality inside your home, will keep your electric furnace operating efficiently, and will prevent overheating.
Schedule Yearly Professional Maintenance.
Even an electric furnace that’s running well should be checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance and tune-ups will keep your electric furnace in top condition, alert you to any potential problems, and address minor issues before they turn into major damage. Make sure the technician you hire is qualified.
Keep Your Electric Furnace Clean.
The area around your electric furnace should be clean and free of clutter. If possible, leave about a five foot clearance around your electric furnace on all sides.
Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Electric Furnace.
Storing flammable materials like paper or volatile chemicals near your electric furnace is extremely dangerous. Having these items near your furnace dramatically increases the chance of fire or explosion. To prevent accidents, store things like paint, newspaper, wood, gasoline, chemical cleaners, and cloth as far from your electric furnace as possible.
Leave Electric Furnace Repairs to The Professionals.
Electric furnaces are complex devices. If your electric furnace seems to be malfunctioning or is not working properly, never attempt repairs or parts replacement on your own. Contact a certified professional to avoid the risk of personal injury or property damage.
Wear Proper Safety Gear.
When you clean your filter or electric furnace, always wear protective gear like safety goggles and thick gloves. This will protect your eyes and skin from sparks, heat, debris, and other potentially harmful materials.
Disconnect the Power Supply.
Before you go near your electric furnace for any reason, always be sure to disconnect the unit’s power supply. This will prevent the risk of electric shock, which can be extremely painful and potentially deadly.
Use Caution When Installing Other Whole-Home Systems.
Central air conditioners, home humidifiers, and air purification systems can all be connected to most electric furnaces. Still, these additional units should always be installed by a professional, who will ensure that the devices are compatible and safe to operate together.