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Furnace safety

​Regular inspection and maintenance is the best way to keep your furnace working well. A qualified gas contractor should do an annual furnace inspection and service.

Warning signs

Stay alert for these warning signs that a furnace isn’t working properly.

  • Frequent pilot light outages (only on older model furnaces).
  • Delayed ignition (mid- and high-efficiency furnaces have an intentional delay – check your manual).
  • A yellow or wavering flame.
  • Excessive soot or corrosion on the appliance or vent (white, brown or black streaks).
  • Signs that the flame has “rolled-out” of the furnace – scorch marks by the door or other opening.
  • Too much or too little heat.
  • A continuous or intermittent odour, either the “rotten egg” or sulphur smell of natural gas or a sharp odour that causes eyes to sting.
  • Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: nausea, headaches, lethargy or other flu-like symptoms.

If your pilot light goes out

All natural gas appliances with pilot lights are designed to shut off automatically if the pilot goes out. To relight the pilot, follow the manufacturer's instructions (usually located on a metal plate near the furnace burner or gas controls). If it fails to relight, turn off the manual valve to the natural gas supplying the furnace and call a qualified gas contractor.

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