HVAC Safety Tips You Need to Know

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., leaving you no choice but to run the heater on full blast to keep your home cozy. Are you sure your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating equipment is safe? While vital for staying warm, heating equipment can be risky if not used and maintained correctly. Explore some important heating system safety guidelines to ensure a warm and safe winter.

Identifying the Risks

Because households rely heavily on heating systems in the winter, home fires and heating-related accidents are more common this time of year. Several frequent risks include:

Candles and holiday decorations: Winter festivities often include decorative lights and candles. Even though these items make the long winter nights more inviting, they can become safety risks if left unattended or set near flammable materials.

Generators: Relying on a generator during a blackout is a helpful backup plan. On the other hand, incorrect use can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Make sure these appliances are set up outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces play a crucial role in causing home fires during the winter. Even though engineered to function safely, these devices can become risky if they are outdated, malfunctioning or improperly used.

Poor ventilation: Insufficient ventilation can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with antiquated electrical systems may struggle with the demands of modern heating appliances. When overloaded, the wiring may overheat, increasing the possibility of electrical fires.

Improper use of heating devices: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like running the oven to warm up your residence, or placing wet socks over a space heater, can be hazardous.

General Precautions

Observe these safety guidelines in the winter and throughout the year to keep your household and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you detect a strange rotten egg smell, it might be a gas leak. For your well-being, act immediately—open windows and doors to air things out, evacuate the area and call your local gas company and fire department.

Combustible items: Keep anything that can burn no less than 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Educate your children about the dangers of matches, candles and heating devices. After that, establish a “kid-free zone” near open flames and heaters to prevent accidents. 

Electric safety: Do not run heating equipment using extension cords or power strips. Additionally, plug only one high-power-draw device into an electrical outlet at a time. These guidelines help avoid electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

Candle safety: Diligently monitor lit candles and extinguish them before exiting the room or going to sleep.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms: Use these products throughout your home, especially right by sleeping areas and test them monthly.

Specific Heating Equipment Tips

Here are several heating system safety tips to take into account this winter:

Professional setup: Because a poor setup can increase the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shock, you should always leave furnace installation to a trained service pro. You’ll get peace of mind for many years, knowing your equipment is running the way it ought to.

Routine maintenance: Yearly inspections of your heating equipment and chimneys by skilled professionals can discover hidden problems that might not be visible to the untrained eye. These inspections can identify worn-out parts, ventilation malfunctions and potential gas leaks. Routine maintenance also ensures optimum efficiency and lengthens your system’s life span.

Space heaters: Do not allow space heaters to run unattended or while you’re sleeping. Put these devices on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the heater.

Fireplaces: Place a metal screen in front of the fireplace to stop sparks from flying out and igniting nearby items. Put out the flames before leaving the residence or going to bed. Once it has totally cooled, collect the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your residence.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Heating Service in the U.S.

As the winter season intensifies, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is ready to preserve your comfort and safety. Our ACE-certified technicians deliver fast, long-lasting remedies for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with our performance, you can count on us to make it right. In addition to our technical expertise, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is very involved in the local communities we serve and remain committed to innovation and customer engagement. For help ensuring a worry-free winter, call 866-397-3787 today to set up an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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