Ooh That Smell?!?

SFD Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 1:59 p.m.

As we have already found out this season, calls for "odor of gas inside a structure" increase dramatically this time of year. Most of the time, these calls are minor and result from heaters being out of use for the warmer months. However, we want to share some a couple tips to ensure a safe, warm and energy-efficient winter:

  • Get your heater serviced annually. A quick check can ensure everything's running smoothly and even identify problems before they become expensive. Natural gas furnaces should also be checked at least once a year by a licensed heating contractor or the utility. 
  • Keep it clean! You know the horrible smell that you experience when you turn the heater on for the first time each year? That's dust and other particles burning off. It usually goes away within 45 minutes or so. But it's also a reminder to vacuum and clean regularly in and around your heater and furnace, particularly around the burner compartment, to prevent a build-up of dust and lint. 
  • Keep it clear! Don't store items in, on or around heating appliances. They can obstruct airflow. 
  • Change your filter. Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for replacing the filter (usually every few months) — purchase a few at a time and set a calendar reminder so it just becomes routine. Note: When installing a new or cleaned furnace filter, make sure the furnace door is shut properly to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. 
  • Check the furnace flame. Yellow, large and unsteady flames are a sign of trouble. If you see this, call your utility company immediately. 
  • Don't use heating appliances that weren't intended for in-home use. These include unvented gas heaters, ovens, ranges or outdoor barbeques. And if you need a space heater, use a ceramic heater that has "tip-over" protection — and never leave it unsupervised. 
  • Always, always, always install and maintain Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms to the manufacture's recommendations!