How to properly care for your furnace during frigid temperatures

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – With frigid cold and continued snow, your furnace is getting a workout. But you can face problems and potentially life-threatening safety issues if you don’t take steps to make sure it is in proper working condition.

“It’s been very busy, especially over the last two weeks,” says Jeff Goff, owner of D & M Heating.

Goff said the frigid temperatures have kept them busy installing and fixing furnaces.

“You want to make sure your drains and stuff are clear, that’s a big factor,” Goff said. “You have your PVC pipes so one of them brings in fresh air. This is the one that goes outside. You’re going to want to make sure that it’s clear.”

He says the biggest problems they’re seeing are plugged filters followed by frozen pipes. Those frozen pipes and vents don’t allow for proper ventilation.

“Of course, your filters, these are 4-inch filters,” said Goff, as he showed us inventory. “These ones will last a little longer as opposed to a one-inch.”

These are some of the steps that could help you avoid a freezing home and turning to nontraditional alternatives. Those alternatives can lead to fires.

“The most home heating devices fires happen in December, January and February,” says Brian Langer, Battalion 4 chief with the Milwaukee Fire Department. “And space heaters being one of them. We want to keep space heaters away from anything that will burn.”

“Be a little careful on the filters, keep an eye on your thermostat -- don’t go too high, don’t go too low when you’re gone,” says Goff.

Officials remind you to keep up with the maintenance on your humidifier as well, to maintain moisture inside the home.

You also want to check the batteries on your smoke detector or sign up to get one installed through the fire department. You can call the smoke alarm hotline at 414-286-8980.

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