MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The temperature has taken a big dip this week. But right now, the furnace at Tim Figge’s Hastings house is only being used as a perch for his cat.

“When you don’t have a furnace in Minnesota, all of a sudden, your life flashes before you because there’s no alternatives,” said Figge.

The system is red-tagged and the gas shut down after a routine inspection showed carbon monoxide levels three times what they should be for safety. The Bryant furnace was subject to recall more than a decade ago, but Figge says he was never notified until a technician told him this week. He’s had the device tuned up several times in the past.

“There’s a certain part in there that’s been known to be problematic since 2008,” said Figge. “So I’ve had a little over 3,600 days that this has been a problem and this is the first I’ve heard of it.”

Ahead of this winter, Figge wants other customers to do their research and ask the right questions of technicians to avoid any dangers.

“But for the grace of god, I have no idea how this could have been gotten skipped for 10 years and I just found out about it today,” said Figge.

Center Point Energy shared these recommendations with WCCO for homeowners:

  • Have a professional service technician check your furnace every year to perform a tune-up and preventive maintenance to make sure it is running safely and efficiently.
  • Time the annual service call in late summer or early fall to beat “the first frost rush.”
  • Check your furnace filter monthly and clean or replace it according to manufacturer specifications.
  • If your current furnace is more than 15 years old or needs frequent repairs, consider buying a new high-efficiency system. Incentives are available through your utility.
  • Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly and replace batteries as needed.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps an updated list of recalled items, like furnaces, on their website. You can plug in the brand of your furnace and see if there are any active recalls there.