Have your Gas Equipment Checked Regularly
HAVE A HEATING CONTRACTOR perform a yearly maintenance check-up of your gas-fired equipment and venting system to ensure efficient, safe operation. Adjustments, cleaning of burners, replacement of parts, repairs and inspections of venting are job for licensed professionals who know the equipment and the codes that must be followed.
NATURAL GAS APPLIANCES NEED an unimpeded air supply in order to burn gas safety and efficiently. Some appliances have a pipe that brings outdoor air directly into the combustion chamber so that these appliances do not depend on household air. But some natural gas appliances shill use household air for proper burning of gas.
OTHER HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES and systems also use household air and expel it outdoors. Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, power attic vents, a wood-burning fireplace, a central vacuum systems, a clothes dryer: all reduce the amount of household air available for your natural gas appliances.
IN ADDITION, SEALING YOUR HOME to conserve energy will also reduce the infiltration of outside air through cracks and gaps. If you’re weatherproofing your home or renovating, provision for adequate air and ventilation should be made at the same time to compensate for reduced infiltration.
YOUR HOME MAY NEED MORE AIR and better ventilation if you notice the following:
- stale air and smells that linger
- back drafts from a fireplace or furnace (air or exhaust is drawn back down the chimney or flue and into the house)
- lots of moisture and mold build-up
- a pilot light that keeps going out
IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR HOME NEEDS MORE AIR, consult a registered heating contractor. Have an expert evaluate your situation and suggest appropriate solutions. Meanwhile, until you have a permanent solution, let in more air by slightly opening a window near your furnace or other natural gas appliances. If no window is nearby, then open a window elsewhere and leave the door to the room open so air can circulate.
How to use Natural Gas Appliances Safely
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the owner’s manual or use the care guide for maintenance and use of your appliances.
- Do not use a natural gas appliance that has yellow flames. Natural gas appliance should have a burner flame that is a clear blue or a flame that is mostly blue with a tiny tip of yellow. The only exception is a natural has fireplace, which has been designed to have yellow flames for a pleasing appearance. In other appliances, a yellow flame signals a problem. Turn off the appliance and have a licensed serviceperson check and adjust the appliance before using it again.
- Keep the area around your natural gas heating system, water heater and other appliances clean and free of lint build-up, rags, old newspapers and other debris.
- Do not store boxes (or other items) on top of, or pressed against, your natural gas appliances.
- Never cover the temperature controls, air openings, or vents of your appliances.
- Insulate the first 6 ft. of hot water pipe that extends from the tank. Make sure any pipe wrap or insulation is at least (6inches) away from the draft hood or flue at the top of the tank.
- Do not spray aerosols near operating gas appliances. The flammable gas in aerosols can be a fire hazard.
- LP Gas and natural gas are different. Operating an appliance on the wrong type of gas can be hazardous.
- Never tamper with safety valves or other fittings and do not use excessive force to open or close gas control knobs.
- Only use gas appliances for their intended purpose. Never use an oven to heat a room or as a clothes dryer.