Safety Concerns of Older Furnaces and Heating Systems

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The most thought people tend to give the idea of a failing heating system is that it’ll simply stop working and they’ll be cold until it gets fixed. Aside from the obvious hazards of being cold for too long, there are actually other looming hazards that exist with older furnaces and heating systems. Here we’ll discuss some of those potential safety concerns of older furnaces and heating systems and how to remedy them!

What Is an Old Furnace? When Is a Furnace Considered Old?

Generally, the life cycle of the furnace ends between 16 and 20 years. Furnaces that old will have pilot lights, and although newer models still have these pilot lights, at least they are accompanied by sensors that shut them off if there’s some kind of problem. Despite this, the pilot light can still pose a potential concern.

Furnace Safety Concerns

Carbon monoxide poisoning is common with old and outdated furnaces. These pilot lights are usually controlled manually and, because of this, carbon monoxide gas can be produced in more abundance than oxygen can replace it within the home. Unfortunately, hundreds of people die a year due to this poisoning, and tens of thousands sustain injuries related to it. Headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, depression, etc.

To make matters worse, house fires can be caused as well. Any flammable or combustible objects near a furnace can increase the possibility of fire or explosion. Any volatile substances that emit fumes or vapors can be ignited as well. If there’s a leak in the gas lines there might even be natural gas building up in the house in large quantities. Natural gas has no odor, taste, or color, and is extremely flammable.

Remedies for Furnace Safety Concerns

Preventative maintenance and repair should be done twice a year according to the following organizations:

Maintenance for Old Furnaces

This is for any furnace of any age, but especially for older furnaces, and even more so for older furnaces with manual pilot lights, which pose the greatest risk. These maintenance checks can identify if any issues exist. Checking the air filters and replacing them as necessary and making sure the thermostat is working correctly are just a few of the tasks.

Furthermore, any ignition problems due to mechanical or electronic failure can be addressed, and assure the blowers don’t need any adjustment or cleaning in order to perform their duties. Belts and blowers can be the common suspects when addressing the failings of systems of any age, but become more likely with time, as all maintenance issues do.

Finally, checking for any gas or carbon monoxide leaks and general observations of flammable items around the furnace that could pose fire hazards can be done as well, giving you the confidence of a safe home.

Call Crawford Services

A lot of this sounds scary, but with a little time and maintenance, these risks can be easily avoided. If you’re looking to have your heating system checked, cleaned, or repaired for safety, give Crawford Services a call and have a licensed professional check and maintain your system today!