Oh, the irony! You might assume that a fire in the furnace is something desirable, when in fact, it is not. Small bursts of flame that are supposed to be in your furnace are one thing; full-blown fires are quite another. If you have recently experienced an actual furnace fire, then you know how dangerous and damaging these things are. It can take an HVAC technician almost an entire day to complete furnace repairs and/or replace your furnace after a fire. To prevent furnace fires, follow these simple precautions.
Change Your Furnace Filter at Least Once a Month During the Heating Season
You would not believe the amount of dirt, dust, and lint gets caught in a furnace filter. The next time you need to replace the filter, take a side-by-side picture of the brand-new and very clean filter next to the old dirty one. It will blow your mind. Furnace filters should be changed at least once a month, unless you invest in the much more expensive filters that allow you to change them once every two or three months. If you have pets, you should definitely change the filter more often as the cold air exchange vents tend to pull a lot of pet hair down into the furnace.
Have Your HVAC Technician Clean out the Ventilation System Annually
The cold air exchange vents tend to suck a lot of dirt, pet fur, dust, and debris into the vents with anything else at floor level. A lot of this stuff makes it down into the furnace, where your furnace filter is supposed to catch most of it. Whatever sneaks by can get to the open flames of gas, propane and oil furnaces and ignite there. It is very rare, but an igniter switch in an electric furnace could ignite this stuff as well. Regardless of what type of furnace or heating system you have, if you hire an HVAC technician to clean out the ventilation system annually, then there is no concern for something as devastating as a fire to occur.
Clean Oil Drips
Oil furnaces are the most notorious for furnace fires, often because they tend to drip a little. Keeping them clean and free of drips will prevent a fire. If you are not sure how to properly clean an oil furnace and stop drips, ask an HVAC technician, like one from Ragan Mechanical Inc, to show you how and/or do the job while you watch.