When the weather drops to frigid temperatures in Maryland and Washington, D.C., heating systems are a life saver, bringing you warmth inside your home when it’s freezing outside. However, if not monitored carefully, home heating systems and appliances can also be a safety hazard in your home. By taking the following precautions, your home will be both safe and comfortable all winter long!
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
First of all, if you have a gas or oil-fired furnace or heater, you need to have a carbon monoxide detector and fire/smoke alarms that are in proper working order and placed near your heating system. It is important to test all the fire alarms, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year and make sure each system is equipped with working batteries.
Portable Electric Space Heaters
Portable electric space heaters are a popular way to save money on energy costs during the winter but they can also be very dangerous. Make sure you always turn off and unplug your space heater while it is unattended and keep objects a safe distance (approximately three feet) from the heater. Furthermore, never plug the heater into an extension cord because this can cause an electrical fire.
Home Heating Systems
The best way to prepare for the cold weather is to have a professional heating and air conditioning company come to your home and inspect your heating system. During this inspection they will clean and replace filters, check for any potential problems and make repairs. It is also recommended that you get your ductwork cleaned annually to further improve efficiency.
In regards to heating your home, make sure to only use traditional heating systems such as radiators and furnaces. Never use ovens or grills in your home as the primary heating source for your house. And never use a kerosene heater inside the house. Not only do they pose a serious fire hazard, but they can also give off hazardous fumes that can present additional dangers.
If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure that you have the chimney inspected and cleaned each year. In addition, if you have a wood burning or gas fireplace, make sure that you protect your home with screens and keep any flammable objects away from the opening of the fireplaces.
In case of an emergency caused by a heating system, make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand and a clear path to safety. For more information on safety tips for your heating system this winter, or to schedule an appointment to have heating service in Maryland or Washington, DC, call the experts at Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing.