Popular Misconceptions about Furnace Care & Safety
Popular 'Myth-Conceptions' About Furnace Care & Safety
1) A service program, like those offered by some gas companies, takes the place of maintenance.
Wrong. Ask yourself, “Would having a good health insurance policy be a comfort if you started feeling chest pains, or would you wish you had gotten a physical, too?” A repair plan is only ‘after-the-fact' insurance—not preventative maintenance, or safety.
With a repair plan, you may achieve the goal of saving money on service bills, but, what about the goal of making your system last longer? And, even more important, how much faith can you have that your equipment is safe, when no one even looked at what they were about to insure?
In fact, if you have purchased a parts and labor insurance policy from someone, why wait 'til something that is going bad fails completely before you get it fixed? Many times a part can be diagnosed as faulty before it causes your whole system to fail...sort of like having a “complete physical” performed by a doctor so you can prevent problems and have it repaired through your warranty.
2) By owning a Carbon Monoxide Detector, I'm protected and don't need regular maintenance.
Wrong. The use of a carbon monoxide detector is wise. But, it does not relieve a homeowner of the furnace's need for maintenance, any more than the use of smoke detectors makes it okay to leave matches laying around the house when you have young children. No detection system is foolproof, and just the fact that natural gas can be explosive is reason enough to make sure your furnace is running safely and properly.
Even though carbon monoxide is the most common furnace safety concern, don't lose sight of the fact that for every ten minutes a typical furnace runs, it unleashes the same energy as 3-1/2 sticks of dynamite.
3) I was told my new gas furnace wouldn't require any maintenance.
Wrong. Anything that is in a dirty environment or has moving parts will always need maintenance. Thinking that, because it's new it doesn't need any attention, is like believing that you can put 50,000 miles on a new car without ever changing the oil. Yes, the car would run and appear to be in good shape...but would you still want to own it for the next 50,000 miles? At least the car could be sold later; the furnace you'd have to keep.
The car is also a good example of how hard your furnace works. Did you know that your furnace, new or old, will probably run a total of 2000 hours this year? If you were to drive your car that long, you would put over 100,000 miles on it and it would require 20 oil changes, at least 4 tune-ups, 2 sets of tires, and probably 1 new battery. Doesn't it make sense that after “driving” your furnace that long each year that it should also be professionally checked and tuned-up?