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6 Safety Tips for Oil Furnaces

Heating oil is a clean, safe, and efficient fuel source. If your heater uses it, furnace services will help ensure safe operation throughout the winter.

For the majority of the year, your furnace may be the last thing on your mind. In fact, you might never think of your furnace until you need a sudden repair. While oil furnaces are safe and efficient systems for heating your home, you should handle them with care and follow oil heater safety tips to keep your family out of potential harm.

A Brief Safety Guide to Oil Furnaces

When the outdoor temperatures drop, and you crank up your thermostat, there are a few safety tips for oil furnaces that you should bear in mind. Use the following oil furnace tips to keep your family warm and comfortable all season.

1. Know the Risks of Carbon Monoxide

Are oil furnaces safe? The general answer is “yes.” However, if you have an oil furnace, there are some potential risks to watch out for. Heating oil itself is a nontoxic, nonflammable, and overall stable substance, so it poses very little risk to your family. However, incomplete combustion of oil can produce carbon monoxide.

Generally, oil furnaces are safe, but excessive amounts of carbon monoxide can be hazardous for your household—as well as potentially fatal. One of the most essential safety tips for oil furnaces is to watch for carbon monoxide poisoning.

This odorless, colorless, and potentially deadly gas can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms solely inside the home, open all windows and exit the property immediately. Contact an HVAC contractor for an emergency inspection and seek medical treatment. Install a carbon monoxide detector close to the furnace, which will alert you of a leak long before you experience symptoms.

2. Clean the Filter

While it may seem like a simple safety tip for oil furnaces, it’s essential to clean your furnace filter regularly to ensure that your system can operate efficiently all season long. How often you use your furnace can determine how often you replace your filter. However, it’s a good idea to clean or replace your filter every 90 days.

If you need help determining how often you should clean or replace your filter, get in touch with your local HVAC company in Gastonia, NC, for furnace repairs, maintenance, and advice.

3. Clear the Room

Furnaces get extremely hot, so any flammable substances nearby could be fire hazards. Give your furnace at least three feet of clearance in every direction. Avoid storing paint, aerosol cans, fuel, and other combustible materials in the space. 

Children could potentially burn themselves playing nearby, so explain the importance of staying away from the appliance while it’s in use. Also, keep pets out of the room.

4. Never Block Registers

Oil furnaces are safe when the proper precautions are taken. Like any other part of your HVAC system, you should treat your furnace with appropriate care and attention—which includes making sure your furnace’s registers (or vents) aren’t blocked.

If your furnace’s registers become blocked with items such as curtains or rugs, your furnace may not be able to operate properly or safely.

5. Beware of Leaks

Always keep an eye out for potential oil tank leaks, as this problem could lead to significant issues. If you schedule a regular heating system tune-up, leaks shouldn’t pose a problem for you. However, it’s still essential to know the signs of an oil tank leak. Some signs to look out for can include:

  • Oil smells/oil on the floor
  • Increasing oil consumption
  • Strange-tasting water
  • Unusual furnace behavior

6. Schedule Professional Maintenance

Annual inspections and maintenance keep your oil furnace safe and efficient. During routine furnace service, a contractor will check for potential problems, clean the unit, and grease moving parts to reduce the risk of fire and improve performance.

If you experience problems with the furnace or notice a leak in its oil storage tank, call your HVAC contractor right away for an emergency heating repair in Gastonia, NC. Don’t attempt to fix furnaces on your own, as doing so could cause injuries and void your warranty. 

Trust a Professional With Your Furnace

When cold weather rolls around once again, and you need your heating system, keep these safety tips for oil furnaces in mind. If you need reliable furnace services before the winter, reach out to Dilling Heating & Cooling in Gaston County, NC.

Our experienced technicians have provided HVAC solutions since 1955. We offer high-quality and cost-effective HVAC repairs, installations, and maintenance, with 24/7 emergency service available.

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