4 Ways To Heat Your Home Safely This Winter
Fall is here, winter is on the way, and the temperatures are getting colder every day. During times like this, families just like yours are starting to hunker down and turn on the heat. Unfortunately, home heating systems can cause numerous potential hazards if they aren’t maintained or used properly. Keep reading to find out what you can do to ensure your home is warm and safe this winter season.
Follow Portable Heater Safety Instructions
The Department of Energy states that portable heaters or space heaters are great for keeping smaller rooms warm, especially if your central heating isn’t strong enough to warm all rooms equally. However, these convenient little heaters are responsible for a reported 25,000 house fires every year. In order to reduce your chance of suffering from a portable heater fire, it’s important to follow all of the safety guidelines and instructions. Don’t keep the heater near flammable objects or put it in a foot path. Don’t allow pets or children near it. Make sure you buy newer models, as they have more safety features. Always follow the instructions unique to your particular model, as well. The makers of the product know best when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of fire safety.
Clean Up Your Fireplace
HGTV stresses the importance that cleaning your fireplace has when it comes to overall fireplace safety. You should sweep up the ashes frequently while your fireplace is in use. The suggested time is once a week, though cleaning it more often than that certainly won’t hurt. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that your chimney is clear of debris and is venting properly. Not only is this crucial to dispel smoke, but you can also get deadly carbon monoxide pumped into your home if the smoke from your fireplace has nowhere to escape to. They suggest having a certified chimney sweep come by to check your fireplace out after 80 fires, or at least once a year minimum. They’ll be able to tell you if anything needs replacing, cleaning, or other forms of maintenance so you can burn your logs all winter long without concern.
Keep Your Heat Exchanger Maintained
Like everything else in your house, your furnace needs frequent maintenance to perform safely and as advertised. Parts may need replacement or fixing. In order to prevent heat exchanger problems, you may need to call in an expert to take a look at yours and see how it’s faring. This isn’t a waste of time or money, either. Damage to your heat exchanger could result in dangerous gases or fumes leaking into your home, as the heat exchanger’s purpose is to separate the combustion chamber of your furnace from your breathable air.
Prepare In Advance
The National Fire Protection Association says that you shouldn’t be waiting until winter to prepare your home for fire safety. For example, smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month, all throughout the year. Any heating appliance that has been sitting in disuse during the other seasons should be checked professionally before being used during winter. You should carefully inspect your portable heaters for outer damage, like frayed cords or wiring. If you get new heating appliances, read up on how to use them properly before diving right into extensive use in the cold months. Early preparation will allow you to enjoy your heating system safely without having to worry about sacrificing the quality of your winter warmth.
Maintaining a safe heating system is one of the best gifts you can give your family this winter. Don’t wait to check your fireplace, furnace, or space heater. The sooner you’re able to confirm their functionality and operate them safely, the sooner you can heat your house up with no concern.