Your HVAC system may be up to code, but is your furnace? Most homeowners don’t inspect their furnaces regularly. While it’s undoubtedly true that furnaces are an essential part of your heating system, it’s also true that furnace safety is equally important. If your furnace is not up to code, you may be putting yourself and your family in danger. Furnace safety is about more than just ensuring that your home is warm enough. It’s also about making sure that you’re using a furnace that is up to code.
What Is Building Code and What Are the Benefits of Having a Code-Compliant Furnace?
All heating systems that connect to your home are required to follow specific codes to prevent air pollution or fire hazards.
Building codes limit what you can and cannot do when building a new home, whether it’s making minor adjustments, or adding new rooms. Building codes govern everything from the wiring in your light fixtures to the venting in your plumbing. While obtaining permits and following complicated laws when working on your own house can be tedious, codes are in place to ensure the homeowners’ safety.
Non-compliant furnaces have been responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning, which is deadly if exposed over long periods. Having a code-compliant furnace will ensure that operating it will be safe for you and your family.
If you’re unsure about what you should be doing to ensure your furnace is up to code, here are some essential things you can do to ensure that your furnace meets all necessary safety requirements.
Always Hire a Reliable, Experienced, and Licensed Technician for Furnace Installation
Many factors contribute to the safety and efficiency of a furnace. You must ensure your heating unit has been installed correctly and meets all local building codes for it to be up-to-code. Any problems with these aspects can cause serious health concerns like carbon monoxide poisoning, which puts the entire family at risk.
The first step to ensuring your furnace is up-to-code involves having a licensed and insured contractor install the furnace following local building codes, which will save you time and money on repairs later down the road.
The contractor will be able to make sure you’ve got everything right and can also give you advice on what parts to replace, if necessary.
It may cost more upfront to hire an experienced professional, but it will be well worth it when you avoid costly repairs in the future.
Give It a Checkup
The next step to ensuring your furnace is up to code involves checking that it was installed correctly by an experienced contractor. While some furnaces are built with all the necessary safety features already included, others may require additional components or installation for them to be considered safe and compliant with local building codes.
A system tune-up for your furnace or heating unit ensures it runs the way it should and that you avoid any problems with how your furnace is running.
Replace Your Air Filters Regularly
In addition to a checkup by a professional, replacing air filters as needed ensures cleaner air is circulating through your home.
Furnaces are designed to burn fuel for them to produce heat. One of the most important aspects of having a furnace up-to-code involves checking it regularly to ensure it is burning safely.
This may involve regularly cleaning out your furnace’s air filter or having the gas supply checked by an experienced professional if you have an older furnace. This increases the life of your furnace, as it will not have to work extra harder.
If you need to make changes to your furnace, like adding a new air filter, make sure you do it correctly. Some of these parts may require special tools or rewiring, so be sure you know what you’re doing before making any changes.
The same goes for the installation. If you aren’t careful, the furnace could become damaged. It is worth having a professional inspect your work after installing parts to ensure everything was done correctly.
Check Your Fireplace
Make sure that your fireplace is clean and has a carbon monoxide detector nearby to keep you safe from harmful gas leaks. If yours doesn’t have one built-in, make sure to install one near the front door of your home.
Suppose you have a CO detector in your home already. In that case, it will be essential to ensure that it works and has been inspected recently by an experienced professional or certified technician. It may even need to be replaced if its expiration date has passed. A working smoke detector is also an essential aspect of having a furnace that is up-to-code.
Observe the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Make sure that when installing parts, you’re following all the manufacturer’s specifications. This is especially important with the installation of new parts and for cleaning and maintaining your furnace.
Also, check with the local building department. In many cases, the new furnace will require a different permit than your current one. This will ensure that your new system is up to code and safe for you and your family to use.
Check the Furnace Connections for Continuity
If there’s a bad connection or something that looks worn down, it’s time to replace that part. It may take some research to figure out the part name but having this information before calling in your contractor can save you time and money.
Second, inspect the exhaust system for loose screws and holes. It would help if you did this every time you use your furnace because the exhaust removes all toxins from your house. If there are any holes or weak spots in this system, these gasses will leak into your home, which could make you sick.
Next, inspect the fuel supply lines for rust and breaks. If you find any, have them replaced right away to prevent fuel leaks. It’s best if you can keep the pipes outside your house, though this isn’t always possible.
Maintain Your System Properly
Make sure to ask for a professional for advice about what you should do to maintain your furnace and help prolong its life and any other parts in the system, so you don’t have to spend money on repairs or replacements.
How Do I Know If My Furnace Is Up to Code?
Only a licensed professional who understands heating systems would be able to establish whether your furnace is up to code. Call us at Fahnestock HVAC, and we will come to your home and inspect all aspects of your furnace. Our NATE-certified technicians will look at components like the control system, the pipes, and the duct to check any signs of damage. They will also inspect the furnace to see if it is up to code before replacing any parts or recommending a replacement. We also offer geothermal and plumbing services. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.