HVAC Safety Tips You Need to Know

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., forcing you to run the heater on full blast to keep your home comfortable. Are you confident your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating equipment is safe? While essential for staying warm, heating equipment can pose a danger if not used and maintained properly. Discover some vital heating system safety guidelines to ensure a cozy and safe winter.

Knowing the Risks

Because families rely heavily on heating systems when it’s cold, home fires and heating-related accidents spike this time of year. Some typical risks include:

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

Generators: Using a generator during a power outage is a beneficial backup plan. However, incorrect use can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Ensure these appliances are set up outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces are among the many threats of home fires during the colder months. Although engineered to function safely, these devices can become dangerous if they are outdated, malfunctioning or improperly used.

Poor ventilation: Inadequate ventilation can cause dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with antiquated electrical systems may face challenges when trying to meet the demands of contemporary heating appliances. When pushed beyond their limits, the wiring may overheat, increasing the possibility of electrical fires.

Wrong use of heating devices: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like firing up the oven to heat your home, or placing wet socks over a space heater, can be dangerous.

General Safety Measures

Observe these safety tips in the winter and throughout the year to keep your home and family safe:

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

Burnable items: Keep anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Teach your children about the hazards of matches, candles and heating equipment. Next, 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. In addition, plug only one high-power-draw device into an electrical outlet at a time. These strategies help prevent electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

Candle safety: Carefully supervise lit candles and make sure they are extinguished before exiting the room or going to sleep.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms: Install these devices in your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them every 30 days.

Specific Heating Equipment Tips

Here are some helpful heating system safety guidelines to consider this winter:

Professional HVAC service: Because a faulty setup can increase the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shock, you should always leave furnace installation to a professional. You’ll enjoy peace of mind for years, knowing your equipment is working the way it is supposed 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 appointments can identify worn-out parts, ventilation malfunctions and potential gas leaks. Scheduled maintenance also ensures optimum efficiency and helps lengthen your system’s life span.

Space heaters: Don’t allow space heaters to operate unattended or while you’re in bed. Place these devices on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the equipment.

Fireplaces: Put a metal screen in front of the fireplace to keep sparks from getting out and igniting nearby objects. Blow out the flames before leaving your dwelling or going to bed. Once it has entirely cooled, put the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your house.

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 maintain your comfort and safety. Our ACE-certified technicians provide fast, long-lasting solutions for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with our work, 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 dedicated to innovation and customer engagement. For help ensuring a worry-free winter, call 866-397-3787 today to arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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