Maintaining your Gas Fired Equipment

Most people living in urban areas have a natural gas supply in their home. This is used to supply energy to appliances in your home such as furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and gas cooktops, to name a few. When properly installed, used and maintained, natural gas is safe and cost effective when compared with using electricity to achieve the same heat output. But, if care is not taken in the installation, use and maintenance, gas appliances have the potential to be dangerous.
 It’s important that the installation be done correctly, and meet the requirements of the provincial gas code as well as the manufacturer’s installation instructions. A shortcut or missed step in the process can cause the equipment to operate in a dangerous manner increasing risk of fire in the home, carbon monoxide, or simply damage to the equipment. A knowledgeable service person can spot inadequacies in an installation and correct them before larger problems manifest.
  Even with properly installed equipment, improper use can pose a danger as well. Dry as the reading may be, the homeowner and/or tenant should familiarize themselves with the user guide for any gas equipment in the home. An example of common improper use would be cranking a hot water tank to the maximum temperature setting. Aside from the additional strain on the tank – and the consequent shortened tank life – this also poses a scalding danger to others in the home, particularly children and the elderly, who don’t react to pain stimuli as quickly. Proper use of equipment is important for the lifespan of these expensive appliances as well as the safety of those in the home. If there is no user manual present, a qualified service person is happy to take the time to walk you through the safe and correct operation of your equipment.
 Of course, in order for a serviceperson to catch problems with your equipment or to explain its safe use, he must first be in the home. Annual (or at the very least biannual) maintenance is so important. Aside from making sure everything is running within safe parameters, ensuring  components stay clean and free of dust or build up is essential to the continued efficiency and safe operation. Regularly testing components and replacing as needed will reduce the likelihood of equipment failure. The middle of the winter is no time for the furnace to stop working! The best course of action is to get maintenance on all gas fired appliances at a time,  saving the cost of having separate calls throughout the year.

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