When the weather gets cold, you probably crank up the heat. It’s important to stay warm and comfortable. It’s also vital that you stay safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires involving central heating units cost up to $75 million in property damage every year. The following safety tips will help keep you and your family out of harm’s way this winter.
Your Furnace Needs Proper Maintenance
If you’re not a heating technician, don’t try to install or fix your furnace on your own. Work with a professional heating and cooling company to make sure that your equipment is functioning properly. If you’re having a problem, be prepared to provide details about any signs of malfunction or strange sounds.
Although many people wait until something is wrong before calling a heating company, getting regular maintenance gives you peace of mind. An HVAC specialist can catch minor problems before they grow into a potential fire hazard. They can spot issues that you may not recognize.
Clean Your Air Filter
Your air filter captures dust and debris that might otherwise enter your lungs and your central air system. Changing the filter regularly allows your HVAC to function properly. Dirty filters can lead to higher utility bills.
They can also be a fire hazard. If your filter is so dirty that it gets sucked into the furnace cabinet, it can cause a blaze and damage the equipment. An HVAC professional can give you guidance about how often to change your filters.
Keep Vents Clear
You can prevent fires by keeping flammable items away from vents and heating equipment. Don’t store old rags, cardboard boxes or newspapers near your furnace or vents. Keep clutter away from your furnace. You shouldn’t keep anything closer than three feet from your furnace.
Check Your Ducts
Blocked ducts can compromise airflow in and out of your heating unit. Getting your ducts inspected for large clogs or blockages can help you reduce the risk of fires. Even dust is flammable. It’s important to prevent it from building up in your system.
Be Careful With Space Heaters
If you’ve been using a space heater to supplement your central heating system, make sure that you use it properly. Don’t use it near flammable surfaces, such as rugs, bedding or curtains. Plug it directly into an outlet instead of an extension cord or power strip. Never leave a space heater unattended.
Your central air should keep you warm enough. If you feel the need for a space heater, you might want to have your HVAC inspected instead. When your unit is working correctly, it will heat your home efficiently. Don’t stress out about central heating safety during a cold snap. Contact AllenKelly to find out if an HVAC inspection, maintenance or installation would benefit you.