HVAC systems are so commonplace that it’s easy to forget they can potentially be a safety concern. This is especially true if you’re not in the habit of identifying and mitigating those risks. Here are a few easy steps you can take today to make sure your air conditioning and heating system is safe for your whole family.
Annual Professional Maintenance
We’re starting with this tip because it’s the single biggest thing you can do to keep your HVAC system safe. Having a trusted professional take a close look at your HVAC system every year gives you the chance to detect and fix any safety concerns early. It’s much easier to handle small problems as they arise than it is to let those problems get bigger over time. The untrained eye can’t catch everything. During the annual check, a professional can look for any red flags and bring them to your attention to be remedied.
Check Your Unit’s Outdoor Clearance
It’s crucial that nothing block your heating and cooling system. If you have trees or shrubs planted close to the outside unit, prioritize cutting back any new growth that strays too close to the unit. Consider it part of your regular maintenance and do it at the same time you change filters and perform other HVAC maintenance. A good rule of thumb is to keep branches and leaves 2 feet away from the unit.
Clean Your Air Filter
It’s HVAC maintenance 101 for a reason: keeping your air filters clean and fresh is important and it’s one of the easiest things you can do to keep your home and family safe. Keeping a clogged air filter in use for too long can result in dangerous carbon monoxide fumes leaking into your home. To avoid that risk, clean or replace your filters at least every 3 months.
Install and Maintain Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Your HVAC system has the potential to be the source of carbon monoxide leaks and fires. Regular maintenance is an important way to minimize this risk, but it’s always best to take precautions. Install carbon monoxide monitors and smoke detectors throughout your home. Check the batteries monthly, change them out at least annually, and always check new batteries to make sure they’re working properly.
Keep Kids and Pets From Rooms with Safety Hazards
This includes any rooms with furnaces, boilers, pressure release valves, pilot lights, etc. If you have small children or pets, physically block off these areas so they can’t get to them and damage the system or hurt themselves accidentally. If you have older kids, explain the safety concern to them so they don’t stray too close.
Safety concerns from your HVAC system aren’t the type of thing you want to have to worry about every day. Luckily, taking just a few steps ahead of time can save you a lot of worry down the road.