Furnaces usually live in an area of your home that is out of sight and out of mind. Despite their modest circumstances, furnace rooms house some of the most important equipment in your home because they are vital to providing comfort throughout the year. It is also easier to think about repairs or maintenance needs for furnaces, but there are day-to-day ways to keep this room—and your home—safe.
- Ensure the room is well-lit. During regular maintenance, low lighting can make walking around the furnace a hazard (whether due to tripping or missing potential issues on the furnace itself). You also want to consider lighting backups in case of an emergency or power outage. Replace broken bulbs and keep flashlights in a readily accessible location.
- Keep the room ventilated. Furnace rooms often do extra duty as storage areas or laundry rooms, but make sure you provide your equipment with plenty of space for proper ventilation and maintenance access. Check vents to ensure they are not blocked by boxes, and do not lean objects against your furnace.
- Know what to store safely. There are some items you should avoid storing near furnaces. Paper products, rubber, or plastic can be damaged or melt due to the heat of your furnace. Find a safe space to store items like cleaning supplies and paint, which can release chemicals when heated. Kitty litter can also release ammonia when it is warmed up, which can damage the furnace.
- Perform regular maintenance. One of the best ways to stay safe around furnaces is to ensure they are working properly. Change the filters regularly and have your system professionally inspected so that any potential problems are flagged early.
Keeping furnaces in a clean and tidy room is important not only to keep the equipment running properly, but also to prevent any hazards to your personal safety. Taking the necessary precautions will prevent long-term issues and ensure your family and your home are safe.