As you get cozy and toasty with your favorite four-legged friend this winter, you'll also want to keep them safe from harm. That means being proactive when it comes to furnace safety. Your home's heating equipment can potentially put your pets at risk of injury or worse. With a few proactive adjustments and steps taken, however, you can keep your pets out of harm's way without compromising on home comfort. Here are a few furnace safety tips to consider.
1. Replace Your Furnace Filters Regularly
Furnaces and fur don't mix, obviously. The latter, along with pet dander, can get sucked up into the furnace as it recirculates indoor air. The resulting buildup of flammable pet hair and dander could potentially create a fire hazard, placing your home at risk.
Good grooming can help reduce the amount of shedding your pets go through. However, you'll still need to change your furnace filter more frequently if you want to keep your heating system fur-free. Most experts recommend replacing the filter every four to six weeks for best and safest results.
2. Block Access with Gates and Barriers
Most pets are curious creatures by nature. While that curious nature serves them well in the wild, often times it can get your pet into a potentially dangerous predicament. A pet that's curious enough to sneak into a utility closet or a basement with a running furnace can potentially injure itself or worse.
It's important to discourage your pets from entering or playing around the furnace. If you have pets that are doggedly determined to get near your furnace, the best thing to do is simply gate it off. Using a pet barrier to block off access can help keep your pets away from the furnace and ultimately safe from harm. You can also use pet barriers if you're not able to simply close or lock rooms with running HVAC equipment inside.
3. Use Vent Covers
Floor and ground-level furnace vents can represent a potential hazard for pets, especially those small enough to crawl through them. A pet that manages to crawl inside a vent can get stuck, setting the stage for potential injuries and the need for an expensive and time-consuming rescue.
Vent covers do more than control directional airflow from your furnace's vents. They also block off potential entry points curious pets could exploit. Using vent covers throughout your home can help keep your pets safe from harm.
Contact a local heating repair service for more information.