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Avoid Furnace Issues By Taking The Right Precautions

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week an awful lot of us fired up our furnaces for the first time. And for some, including a Minneapolis family, there are problems.

When Jessie Ziemen turned on her furnace Wednesday morning to warm up the house, she didn’t just get heat — she got a lot of smoke, too.

Her furnace pipes were probably clogged and she will have to buy a new one.

“The upstairs was completely filled with smoke,” she said.

Downstairs where the furnace was, was fine, but the smoke was pushed through pipes and poured into the upper level of the home.

Firefighters said if the furnace would have continued to malfunction there would have been a major fire.

“It’s going to be replaced,” Ziemen said. “We had a couple of people come and check it out and we’re looking at a new furnace already.”

CenterPoint Energy’s Scott Darsi said even new furnaces can develop problems after not being used.

“All summer long that furnace sat idle. We don’t know what crawled into that furnace,” he said. “If that furnace isn’t working properly, if that fire doesn’t go up through the furnace, it’s gonna actually come back out. It could be a very dangerous situation for our customers.”

CenterPoint said it is also important to change your filters in your furnace once a month. And, of course, it is critical to have working carbon monoxide and fire detectors in your home.

CenterPoint Energy advises that all homeowners get their furnace inspected every fall. The cost of an inspection is $115.

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