Whether you are trying to troubleshoot your furnace for repairs, or just performing a general inspection or maintenance procedure, safety should be at the forefront of your mind. As a homeowner you may not have all the specialized knowledge of a furnace repair technician, so it's a good idea to be a little more cautious than necessary. The following safety tips are a must to follow.

Tip #1: Shut Off the Power

Before opening or working on the furnace, make sure the power is turned off. While shutting off the furnace at the thermostat is usually sufficient for simple jobs like a monthly filter change, you need to completely shut it off for more in depth maintenance or repairs. Most furnaces are connected to their own switch or circuit breaker that you can turn off. If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas valve is closed. This is especially important if you will be using any tools that could produce a spark, such as a power drill to remove cover screws.

Tip #2: Light Up Your Space

In some homes, the furnaces are tucked away in dark corners of the basement or in an unlit closet. When servicing the unit, even for something basic like an air filter change, make sure you have a high powered flashlight or portable work light. Furnace coverings are made of thin sheet metal, which can slice open your hand. Plus, you don't want to drop the screw that holds a side panel in place and then be unable to find it. It could easily fall into the fan or blower motor, resulting in severe damage to your furnace unless it is retrieved.

Tip #3: Watch the Pilot

One of the main safety concerns on a gas furnace comes from the pilot light. Most modern furnaces have safety shut-offs on the pilot light which minimizes problems, but it is still a good idea to check the light carefully each time you perform furnace maintenance. Make sure no debris, such as dislodged dust, has fallen in the area around the pilot light. Also, verify that the light is burning steady and blue. A flickering light can indicate a gas delivery issue, which needs to be addressed by a repair tech.

Tip #4: Wear Gloves

Not only are their sharp corners inside your furnace, you may also need work around the fan or blower blades. This is especially true if these have become dirty or if you are attempting to lubricate them on your own. Work gloves are a must to protect your hands from cuts and injuries. If you have trouble performing these routine maintenance tasks with gloves on, then it is time to call in a furnace repair technician to complete the job. Contact a business, such as the Greers Service Company Inc, for more information.