Malfunctioning furnace could have fatal results

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- It’s inevitable, winter that is, and if you haven’t thought about checking out your heating system, it’s time to get going.

“It’s important this time of year to have your furnace checked, just to make sure that everything is working right, that the flow sensor is clean, that the filters are clean, that the heat exchanger is clean, that there’s no bird in the flue pipe,” suggested George Adema from Adema Heating and Air Conditioning.

A properly functioning furnace will not only keep you warm during the cold winter months, but it will do it safely. Far too often people take the condition of their furnace for granted leading to possible carbon monoxide poisoning. And often, it’s too late. George Adema even suggests testing out the furnace during the summer. “People shouldn’t wait until October to start doing it. They should do it in the summertime. Heating contractors get extremely busy this time of year.”

Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless. Nationally, it takes about 200 lives per year and locally, Chief Mark Morganti from the City of Buffalo Bureau of Fire Prevention reports that city and suburban emergency personnel respond to about 20 calls involving carbon monoxide during the cold weather season. Given the consequences, one call is one call too many. If you are inspecting your own furnace there is something to watch out for. “If they see soot, there’s definitely a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.”

There are many sources of carbon monoxide.. Intense winter storms result in power outages and the use of portable generators another source of the gas. It’s crucial that generators be placed in a well ventilated area several feet from your home.

In addition to checking out your furnace, and as a second layer of protection, make sure that you have properly installed carbon monoxide detectors in your home. And don’t forget to change the batteries.

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