With the holidays right around the corner, Atlanta has already had a visit from Jack Frost. And while everyone else is shaking the dust off their coats and turning up their heating units, local fire departments are bracing for the start of winter fire season.
In fact, the Roswell Fire Department has already seen the first home up in flames caused by a defective furnace this season. Last Monday, the homeowner clicked on her furnace to warm up her home, and in just minutes smoke filled the townhome. The cause was determined to be dust that had collected on the furnace.
In the news report, Captain Dave Ware cautioned that faulty furnaces, heating units and fireplaces can easily catch on fire, especially when they haven’t been used for months.
Fire departments all across the region, along with the National Fire Protection Association, are eager to remind people that faulty heaters and furnaces are the leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February.
More than 55,000 homes are devastated by fires directly involving heating equipment every year, resulting in over a billion dollars in damage. The worst part is that a majority of these fires could have been prevented if the homeowners had done some simple preventative maintenance, or called a professional to inspect their unit.
During the summer months, while your heating unit or furnace sits unused, dust naturally builds up on the system’s elements. This is what causes that distinct burning odor whenever you turn your heater on for the first time in months. The dust should burn off quickly, and the smell will dissipate after a short time. If your heater continues to emit a strange odor, shut off the unit and call a professional.
Regular maintenance on your heater or furnace isn’t just a good suggestion; it can also be a life-saving tip. Before you really start using your heating system this winter, it is crucial to have it professionally inspected by a certified heating technician.
During the inspection, your technician will check the condition of your unit and discover any potential problems before they cause serious damage, as well as:
- Perform safety tests for carbon monoxide levels
- Look for debris in chimneys and ducts
- Clean and install air filters
- Check the thermostat and safety controls
- Clean the motor and fan
- Adjust belts if necessary
- Evaluate all burners and pipes.
Spend this winter knowing that you and your loved ones are safe and warm this holiday season. Call metro-Atlanta heating technicians at Gagne Heat & A/C at (678) 221-4328 to schedule your furnace inspection today!