Incoming cold a reminder to get that furnace inspected

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Get ready for a blast of winter in early October.  The temperatures will be diving into freezing territory in the next 24 hours.  Getting ready is about more than just finding those coats and gloves.  It's also about making sure your furnace is safe for another winter.

Justin Grube, a furnace maintenance inspector with Bryan's Heating and Air,  has had a busy week and it's not nearly over yet.

"Most of our day right now, this time of year, is spent firing up a furnace for the first time and doing safety inspections," Grube said.

He's spent the last few days checking out furnaces for folks like Helen Naccarato and her husband.

"I don't like unexpected expenses," Helen laughed. "So I prepare."

Furnaces left cold over the summer can develop many problems, from cracks that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks to collections of debris allowed to settle in the pipes that can become a fire hazard.

"They're probably going to look for things that we would not even be aware of when they come to inspect," Naccarato said. 

With all the rain and storms we've had this year, Grube says there's something new to be worried about: your flues.  A lot of folks have had to have roof work and that has sometimes knocked them out of place.

"We've had a number of them where the flue pipe has actually come apart in the attic.  Outside and down by the furnace it looks fine.  But, unbeknownst to everybody it lost the connection," he explained.

Inspections like his are also about making sure other items stored in the room haven't migrated too close to the furnace.

"Many times it becomes a storage area for paint, spare boxes, Christmas decorations, that sort of thing," Grube said.  "So we want to make sure all that's cleared from the furnace."

"You see this on the news, there's a house caught on fire and they determined that it was something to do with the furnace and the electrical," Naccarato agreed.  "So if we can have that checked out and avoid those types of situations, yeah, that's what we want."

But Grube expects to get a whole different set of calls after the cold weather hits from folks whose furnaces just didn't turn on.  It's his job: making sure you can stay warm and safe through the winter.

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