If you are like most homeowners, you will gather a lot of information about the furnace you have in your home and how to maintain it just by tackling a problem here and there. However, one thing many homeowners fail to recognize is that a furnace can be a dangerous thing in the hands of someone who has no proper training. In fact, a few wrong moves could easily put you and your home in danger. If your furnace has issues that you plan to diagnose on your own, or at least attempt to, there are a few important safety rules that you should keep in mind.
A repeated circuit breaker trip should not be messed with.
If the circuit breaker to your furnace continually trips, it is a good sign that the furnace has a wiring issue somewhere within the unit. Wiring issues can be extremely dangerous to mess with because you could end up shocked. But they are also dangerous because trying to force the furnace to stay on in spite of an electrical problem could easily lead to a discharge of sparks that puts your home in danger. Because of this, any slight sign of electrical trouble really should signal you to leave the problem to professional.
The smell of gas with a gas furnace indicates a leak.
The smell of gas coming from around your furnace area is a good sign to step away and call a pro for emergency help. In a lot of cases, the odor of gas means that there is a leak somewhere around the incoming line that connects to your furnace. Gas leaks can be dangerous for several reasons, so if you suspect this to be the problem, it can even be wise to pack up the family members quickly and get out of the house.
A furnace can retain heat in the elements for long after the unit has been shut down.
There is always a danger of being burned when working with a heating system, but especially a furnace that has older heating units inside. These furnace heating units can retain their heat for long after the power source has been disconnected. This means if you are not careful, you could stick your hands into the furnace to clear away dust and dirt and end up with burns. Therefore, it is best to shut down the furnace and use a temporary alternative heat source for a bit before attempting to diagnose a problem.
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