Appliance Safety and Maintenance
Your natural gas appliances are made with the highest quality and safety standards. They can add warmth, security and comfort to your home or business. To insure that your natural gas home is always a safe home, we urge customers to become educated consumers. This process begins when you prepare to purchase your new natural gas product and continues when you use energy-saving tips.
When purchasing new appliances, you're faced with a number of difficult decisions. Some of these decisions involve which brand is best, how much energy the appliance will use, and whether or not purchasing a higher priced model that provides better efficiency will save money in the long run. Once you have made the clean choice of natural gas appliances, learn how to increase their longevity and performance through appliance safety. Before you purchase your next natural gas product, learn to read EnergyGuide labels.
To ensure the safety and efficiency of your new natural gas appliances, follow some rules of thumb:
- When purchasing a new appliance, look for those that are designed to meet safety standards. Check the label for certification. This is your assurance that the equipment is designed to meet national safety standards.
- Have qualified professionals install appliances to make sure they’re properly connected. Never attempt this yourself!
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for operation and care of your equipment.
- Call a professional if there is any irregularity with your appliance, like overheating or the presence of soot around a burner.
- Be certain the flame on your gas appliance is bright blue. If it’s consistently yellow, call a professional to check and adjust the burner.
- Make sure a plumber or contractor determines that the equipment is properly vented and adjusted, and that it has an adequate supply of fresh air for safe, efficient combustion.
Pay Attention to Your Natural Gas Appliances
Natural gas problems like leaks or a presence of carbon monoxide can be avoided if you make sure your appliances are serviced regularly. Here are a few safety tips to help you use the natural gas appliances in your home safely.
- Follow manufacturer directions for care and use of natural gas appliances and heating systems. Always have a licensed heating contractor, plumber or appliance repair representative inspect and repair your natural gas equipment.
- Check furnace filters regularly and clean or replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Keep the furnace unit intact. Don’t remove panels without replacing them.
- Keep combustible materials such as papers, fluids, paints, curtains and rags away from furnaces, water heaters and gas ranges and dryers.
- Keep your gas range clean. Make sure burner bowls are free of used matches, grease, paper, etc.
- Have a fire extinguisher near your appliances. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
- Keep the pilot lights of your gas range lit. If you put them out to save energy, a dangerous gas build-up can occur if someone accidentally turns on the range.
- Use equipment for the job it was designed to do. Never use your gas range or oven to heat your home.
- Make sure natural gas appliances have proper ventilation according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep chimneys and flues clear. Have your fluepipe and chimney checked to make sure they’re not blocked with debris such as nests, branches or ivy.
Some appliances use a safety device that prevents the main burner from turning on if the pilot light is off. If you find a pilot light out, you need to re-light it right away. Follow the instructions in your appliance manual if available. If not, turn off the burner and wait five minutes. This will allow any accumulated gas to escape.
Always light the match first and then hold it to the pilot burner. Be sure the pilot is lighted before turning on the main burner. Refer to your appliance manual for additional information on the safe use of pilot-type and pilotless-ignition gas appliances.