In today’s economy, everyone tries to save money wherever he or she can. One of the cost-effective measures people put into place to boost their personal budgets is to perform home improvement projects themselves rather than hire a contractor. This works well for some fixes and upgrades, and it is rewarding to learn something new, complete the work, and then take pride in what you’ve accomplished. Where it doesn’t work well, however, is with your heater.
Your Heater and Carbon Monoxide
As you are well aware, carbon monoxide is dangerous when it is released into the air. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 150 people die annually in the United States from carbon monoxide poisoning. Part of what makes this gas so deadly is you cannot see it or smell it, which is why most counties require all homes to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. Early detection is crucial to prevent illness or death, and these alarms alert you to trouble immediately.
Anything that burns fuel in your home generates carbon monoxide, including your furnace. If you do not possess the knowledge to understand your heating unit’s working parts, you run the risk of introducing this deadly poison into your indoor environment. The action of taking it apart and putting it back together can cause trouble in and of itself if you do not secure everything properly, and you may not recognize carbon monoxide issues in need of repair, such as a cracked heat exchanger.
Electricity and Gas
Even though you’ll shut off the electricity and gas prior to your work, taking apart your heater without professional experience remains a danger. Unless you have a voltage meter, you will have no way of telling whether the electricity remains live to your unit, which it can do despite cutting it at the main switch. Gas is also something with which you should not tangle without extensive knowledge. If you fail to couple it properly once the work is done, you’ll face the next concern.
King of Prussia Heating offers an interesting perspective to heating in the days of old. Prior to World War I, nearly all homes were heated by coal. Home fires broke out all the time and they still can, even with today’s safer heating methods. As mentioned, failure to reassemble your heater properly once you’ve finished working on it can introduce carbon monoxide into your home, and it can also cause fire if the electrical and gas aren’t attached properly. This DIY project is not worth the risk.
What You Can Do
There are some things you can do yourself to save money. Change your air filters on a regular basis and ensure all air vents are clean. Light your furnace’s pilot light each season and extinguish it at the end of the season. Check your furnace’s burner once it ignites to ensure the flame is blue. If not, you can clean it per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep you and your family safe, however, by leaving the tough stuff to the professionals. They are experts in your heating unit and can maintain and repair it properly without the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire.