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Serving Chester County & Surrounding Areas

Serving Chester County & Surrounding Areas


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Signature HVAC Blog

Can My Gas Furnace Become Dangerous?


Giving a straightforward answer to this question might sound alarmist, so before we give that answer, here’s important information to know:

Gas furnaces are built to the highest safety standards for use in homes and rarely create dangers for households where they are used as long as the furnace is cared for properly and repaired as needed. 

If gas furnaces were a routine danger for homes, they would never be allowed in homes in the first place! So please take solace knowing that with the right assistance from West Chester, PA, HVAC experts, your furnace should offer you years of safe operation.

However, yes, your gas furnace can become dangerous. 

The Big Enemy: Lack of Maintenance

The number one cause of a gas furnace developing safety concerns is that it isn’t receiving annual professional maintenance. Maintenance is a service we offer and which we want all our customers to know is a mandatory job if they want their heating to work at its best. Maintenance helps save money on repairs and energy-efficient performance and extends the life of a gas furnace. But most vitally, it helps keep it running safely

During maintenance on a gas furnace, our technicians carefully inspect the unit to find out if there are concerns about gas flow, gas line leaks, broken valves, blocked exhaust, or cracks in the heat exchanger. If we discover anything, we can arrange for repairs before the furnace goes to work for the season. The regular cleaning and tune-up steps will also prevent the furnace from wearing down and developing problems in the first place.

The Cracked Heat Exchanger Issue

The major safety concern with a gas furnace is cracks in the heat exchanger, which is one of the checks we always make during maintenance. The heat exchanger is the metal chamber where hot combustion gases collect so their heat is transferred through the heated metal to the air that moves into the ventilation system. Cracks on the exchanger can allow toxic combustion gas into the air. This usually happens on older furnaces and can be caught through regular inspections. Although the exchanger can be replaced, if the furnace is old enough, a replacement is a better option. 

Failed Safety Features

Another important check we make during maintenance is on the built-in safety features of the furnace that are designed to shut off the system in case of malfunctions. These include the flame sensor and the limit switch. We test these features so we know they’re operating and will stop gas flow when necessary. 

Remember Your CO Detectors

You must have carbon monoxide detectors in your house if you use natural gas. These are an important line of defense if there are gas leaks from your furnace or any other gas appliance or gas line. Check the detectors every six months and regularly change the batteries. If the detectors go off, leave the house and call the gas company. If the gas company finds the furnace is faulty, you can later call us to arrange for repairs or a replacement.

Signature HVAC offers Signature Service You Can Trust. Call us for furnace maintenance and repairs to help stay safe this winter and every winter to come. 

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