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Proper Precautions With Natural Gas Appliances

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To the delight of many homeowners, powering appliances with natural gas is becoming increasingly inexpensive and energy efficient. For instance, here at Elmer’s One Hour Air, we install natural gas heating systems for homeowners. (Yes, it’s hard to think about heating in the summer. Please use your imagination right now!) As with all flammable and combustible materials, extreme caution must be taken when dealing with natural gas appliances. If you follow manufacturer instructions, you can enjoy your gas stove, dryer and/or water heater worry free! Here are a few other safety tips for gas appliances. Natural Gas Heating Systems A natural gas heating system is clean and efficient. It’s also safe if properly used and maintained. Homeowners using natural gas heating systems (or any other natural gas appliance) will definitely want to make sure they have a working carbon monoxide detector in the home. In addition, have your heating system inspected by a profession once a year. Water Heater
  • Setting the thermostat on your water heater too high can be very dangerous. Any setting above 120°F may cause severe burns or other injuries. Children, elderly and disabled persons are particularly susceptible to burns at these temperatures. Before you adjust your temperature, read the water heater’s manual for safety.
  • Your water heater will get hot! Make sure that you do not store flammable materials near your water heater. A common error is for homeowners to set laundry atop their water heater. This is a serious fire hazard.
  • Do not store combustible materials near your water heater. Gasoline, paint and fire extinguishers should be kept away from natural gas powered appliances at all times.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
  • Keep your dryer’s lint trap clean and always replace it. Never use the dryer without a lint filter, as lint will build up in your dryer’s exhaust tube. (Another fire hazard.)
  • Only use your gas stove or oven for cooking. A common mistake is to leave the oven door open or ignite a burner to warm your kitchen. This could introduce a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide into your home.
  • Have your gas range inspected annually by a professional for leaks.
Think you have a natural gas leak? Act now! Natural gas is a clean fuel source, but can be dangerous when your appliances aren’t maintained properly. In the rare case of a natural gas line leak, you will notice a rotten egg like smell. Exit your home immediately and, from a safe distance, call 911 and your utility company. Don’t try to locate the leak or turn any appliances on or off, as the biggest danger associated with gas leaks is an explosion. Always have professionals install, repair or remove any gas appliances. If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and these simple tips, you can enjoy the use of your gas appliances along with their low energy costs safely for years to come.