The return of cold temperatures boosts your reliance on home heating equipment in the fall. If your furnace isn’t functioning properly, it might grow to be a fire hazard and endanger your family’s safety.
As stated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating systems like furnaces are a top factor of home fires, causing approximately 50,000 blazes, 500 civilian deaths and more than $1 billion in direct property damage each year. Space heaters and fireplaces start most of the fires concerning heating equipment, but central heaters, such as furnaces, are liable for just about 12% of these blazes. Learn the most likely causes of furnace fires and how to minimize them.
Aging furnaces are more vulnerable to safety problems since they may be configured differently and fall into disrepair through the years. Nevertheless, whether your furnace is more than a decade old or brand new, you should be familiar with these causes of furnace fires.
A furnace motor can overheat in various ways. Here are the most common risks:
Yard debris, animal nests and other materials can obstruct the furnace flue, reducing oxygen. This leads to soot buildup and improper ventilation, limiting efficiency and raising the risk of flame rollout. Flame rollout is when fire reaches past the heat exchanger and burns the parts in your furnace. If this problem continues, your heating equipment can be seriously damaged, and the fire can spread to areas outside the furnace.
The heat exchanger is a restricted combustion chamber where the heat produced by your furnace is exchanged to the air circulating throughout your home. A heat exchanger blocked with soot or corrosion has the same effect as a blocked furnace flue—reduced performance and a higher risk of flame rollout.
Several problems can take place if corrosion breaks the heat exchanger. First, it reduces suction inside this chamber, leading to less airflow and increased flame rollout. Second, it produces fumes, including carbon monoxide, into your home. Breathing CO gas can be lethal, so never ignore your carbon monoxide alarms. CO gas can also return to the source of the leak and ignite if a flame is found.
Furnaces require an accurate combination of natural gas and air to generate safe and efficient combustion. Too little pressure is often the result of clogged burner orifices. This problem makes the burner flames more likely to roll out. It also causes unwanted condensation within the heat exchanger, accelerating the rate of corrosion.
On the other hand, high gas pressure can produce excessive heat in the furnace, which can cause the soot inside the heat exchanger to ignite. Such fires can readily spread to other areas.
Based on the various ways a furnace can catch fire, here are the steps you can take to prevent furnace fires:
Is it time for your yearly tune-up? Do you need help resolving a problem with your furnace? Whatever the reason, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is here for you. Our HVAC professionals can inspect, clean and test the system to guarantee safe operation. If anything seems off, we’ll perform a repair or a modification, offering you peace of mind that your furnace is unlikely to catch fire. For more details or to schedule furnace maintenance, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
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