Home explosions remind us to maintain our furnaces - WNEM TV 5

Home explosions remind us to maintain our furnaces

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A traditional gas furnace. A traditional gas furnace.

People in a Clare County neighborhood had a scary wake-up call on Tuesday morning.

An explosion leveled one house and destroyed another nearby at the intersection of Ivan and Lake roads in Hamilton Township. No one was hurt, but it's the latest house explosion in the last few weeks.

The first happened on Oct. 1 in Tuscola County's Wisner Township. One man was taken to the hospital where he died days later. And another happened last week near Unionville. Authorities say a girl smelled gas and tried to escape, but it was too late.

These explosions are serving as an important reminder to make sure your furnace is running smoothly and efficiently. 

"It's our busiest time of year, we've got lots of people calling," said Pat Flory, with Answer Heating and Cooling. As those temperatures dip into the 30-degree range this week, people are firing up their furnaces. To make sure folks are safe and their furnaces don't cause any safety issues, it's a good idea to have a certified technician inspect your furnace.

"We want to make sure that the burners are clean, the blowers are clean, so that we don't have any problems with them," said Flory. "If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, [or] if you have an older one, you should have it replaced."

It's also a good idea to have your furnace filter changed because it helps your system run as efficiently as possible.

"Actually, it's very important to clean the filter on a monthly basis, and if you have a filter that you can do once a year, you should do it once a year," said Flory.

And if you have an older furnace you may want to consider buying a new one. The experts claim the cost saving will be worth it.

"A 30-year-old furnace is probably what they call 60-percent efficient, and what that means is that every dollar spent on the utility bill, 65 cents heats the house, 35 cents goes up the chimney," said Flory.

Newer furnaces are 95 percent more efficient, meaning most of that buck is going towards keeping your home warm and toasty.

It's also a good idea to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors this time of year.

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