Heat is a valuable commodity during the winter months, but it can also be dangerous if not handled properly. In particular, space heaters, fireplaces, and stoves can present safety hazards if they are used carelessly, or if they are out of order. Accidents involving home heating equipment are the leading cause of fire deaths in the winter months, so preventing those accidents is key to keeping your home and family safe while heating your home this year.
Whether you are using a space heater this winter or a centrally installed furnace, there are a number of things you can do to prevent mishaps resulting from home heating.
- Distance: Space heaters should be kept about three feet away from any combustible object, including upholstery, clothing, curtains, beds, plants, pets, and so forth. These types of objects should be kept away from central heaters and ventilation ducts as well. If you have children, keep them away from heating units of all kinds.
- Right equipment: Any heating unit should be good quality and properly installed. An HVAC professional should be the one to install central heating units. Also, never use your oven to heat your home since this can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. If you use a fireplace, make sure you have a screen in front to prevent sparks from flying onto flammable objects.
- Follow instructions: Especially in the case of space heaters, proper usage is key. Even if you have been using the same heater for years, it can be helpful to reread the instructions to make sure you follow them as precisely as possible.
- Ventilation: All heating units need to be properly ventilated. This not only helps the unit operate more efficiently, but it also prevents the buildup of toxic substances inside the unit and in your home. Keep objects away from ventilation grates, keep chimneys clean, and open a window when using wood-burning stoves or fireplaces.
- Clothing: Billowy nighttime clothing can easily brush up against a hot space heater and catch fire, so wearing tighter fitting pajama pants can keep you and your family safe when walking around at night.
- Maintenance: All units should be properly maintained by a professional. Ideally, this means having a routine checkup made on it at least once per year. Also, make sure all equipment is kept clean. If anything seems amiss, call a professional. If a unit is getting old, the need for repairs is much more likely, and it may even be time for a replacement.
Generally speaking, well-maintained equipment will be far less likely to fail, and will therefore be safer to use. Control malfunctions, cracked pipes, buildup of debris, and bad wiring can all make your heating equipment a fire hazard, so professional help is vital for keeping your home safe during the colder months.
Climate Tech provides you with routine and emergency maintenance on HVAC equipment of all types. In addition, we offer the ClimateCare preventative maintenance program, which provides you with two scheduled maintenance visits each year along with other benefits. To learn more about ClimateCare and our services, contact Climate Tech Air Conditioning and Heating today.