Furnace, Fireplace, Space Heater Checkup And Safety Tips by nak14542


									Furnace, Fireplace, Space Heater
Checkup And Safety Tips
                                   With the first cold snap of Fall
                                   upon us, many Central Ohio
                                   area residents are turning on
                                   their furnaces and fireplaces
                                   to keep warm. In an effort to
                                   keep you safe this winter Ron
                                   offers these tips for your
                                   furnace, fireplace and space

                                   By Ron Specht

Furnace Safety
· Have your furnace checked and cleaned regularly by a qualified
repair person.
· Be sure all furnace automatic controls & emergency shutoffs are in
good condition.
· Leave furnace work to the experts. Don't attempt repairs unless you
are qualified.
· Have the repair person check the wall and ceiling near the furnace
and flue. If they are hot, additional insulation or clearance may be
· Check to ensure the flue pipes are well supported, free of holes and
· Make sure the chimney is solid with no cracks or loose bricks. All
unused flue openings should be sealed with solid masonry.
· Keep trash and combustible storage away from the heating system.
Basic Furnace Cleaning & Filter Replacement

                              Step 1. Remove Covers

                              Step 2. Remove Filter

                              Step 3. Vacuum dust – be careful
                              around wires and connectors

                              Step 4. Measure Filter for proper
                              size - length, width and thickness
                                    Step 5. Replace with clean or new

                                    Step 6. Replace covers

Fireplace Safety
Have your chimney inspected annually for damage and obstructions.
· Clean the chimney regularly to avoid buildup, also known as
creosote that could ignite your roof.
· Be sure to use a screen in front of your fireplace large enough to
catch rolling logs or sparks.
· Don't use flammable liquids to start a fire.
· Don't use excessive amounts of paper to build a fire. It's possible to
ignite soot in the chimney by over-building the fire.
· Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. Burning charcoal gives off
deadly amounts of carbon monoxide.
· Be sure no flammable materials hang down from or decorate your
mantel. A spark from your fireplace could ignite these materials and
cause a fire
· Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed
damper can help hot ashes build up heat, causing the fire to flare up
and ignite your room.
· Store cool ashes in a tightly sealed metal container.
How to Clean Your Fireplace

When cleaning, always wear safety goggles and a dust or respirator
mask. You may also wish to spread newspapers or a large tarp in
front of the fireplace before cleaning to prevent staining rugs or

Short chimney brushes or flue cleaners
Metal container w/lid
Stiff bristled brush.

If you're also having your chimney cleaned (or will be doing it
yourself), do that first and eliminate the extra clean up process.
1. Using a short chimney or flue brush, clean the flue with short, but
strong, strokes.
2. Using a stiff bristled brush, scrub the outside of the damper until it
is free of buildup.
3. Remove ashes from the fireplace hearth area and damper and
place them in a metal container.
4. Vacuum the surrounding floor thoroughly, making sure to remove
all flammable objects as you go.
5. Any soot which has settled or hardened on the fireplace glass or
external decorative bricking can be removed with bleach and water
or a degreaser.
Chimney brushes and other tools are readily available for purchase or
rental to those who wish to tackle the job themselves. In order to
clean a chimney properly, you'll need a complete set of chimney
rods, brushes, and a ladder. The chimney is cleaned by opening the
damper, climbing up on to your roof, removing the chimney cap and
brushing the inside of the chimney with short, forceful, plunging
motions. This action will move creosote and other debris into the
fireplace hearth. From there, you'll move indoors to clean up the
mess and proceed with cleaning the fireplace.
· The heater should be listed by UL (Underwriter's Laboratory). It
should be equipped with a safety light, loud alarm, a switch that
automatically shuts the heater off if it tips, and a cut-off device in
case of overheating.
· Space heaters must have space. Keep all objects, pets and people
at least three feet away from the heater at all times.
· Don't use space heaters in your bathrooms. Do not touch a space
heater if you are wet.
· Never try to repair the heater yourself.

Space Heater Options

                                    Forced Air – Fan forced heating
                                    provides powerful, fast heat for
                                    small-room coverage. The heater
                                    heats the air, but uses a fan to
                                    push the heated air around the
                                    room to provide faster heating of
                                    an entire room.

                                    Convection – Convection heating
                                    warms a room quickly and quietly
                                    by natural circulation. These
                                    heaters are ideal for heating a
                                    space only during the time it’s
                                    occupied. Convection heaters are
                                    most effective in closed rooms
                                    where the heated air can be
                                    continually reheated
                                 Radiant – Radiant heating
                                 provides heat from a hot surface
                                 without directly warming the air.
                                 These heaters are perfect for fast,
                                 focused spot heating by heating
                                 only the object they’re pointed at.
                                 Radiant heating is most
                                 appropriate for rooms with large,
                                 open spaces, high ceilings, or
                                 drafty areas.

                                 Propane – Propane provides
                                 instant heat anywhere, anytime.
                                 Ideal for emergency heat during
                                 power failures. Use in well
                                 ventilated areas.

Stay warm and stay safe!

If you have a question about any home improvement project, e-mail
me at ron.specht@yourhomecolumbus.com.

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