Fall has arrived, and with it, cooler weather. As a homeowner, you may feel ready to turn on the heat, but make sure your heating system is ready for use. Of course, you want to keep your family warm and living spaces cozy, but ensuring their safety is essential. Here are a few helpful tips on how to heat your home safely.
Tips to Safely Heat Your Home
1. Have the Heating System Inspected
Before using the HVAC for the first time this season, have it inspected by an experienced technician. An HVAC professional will ensure the system is clean, in good condition, and functioning correctly. Over time, the heating system can accumulate debris, and components may malfunction, which can cause fires or gas leaks. Your HVAC professional will detect potential issues and make repairs to keep your family safe.
2. Use a Fireplace Screen
A screen helps prevent embers from flying out of the fireplace and starting a fire. As wood burns, it may send out sparks, which could ignite nearby rugs, draperies, or furniture. Install a sturdy screen that fits the opening of the fireplace correctly. Don’t leave the fire burning unattended, and always keep an eye on children when getting warm by the fire.
3. Clean the Chimney to Heat Your Home Safely
A clogged or dirty chimney increases the risk of a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. Over time, creosote builds up in the flue. This flammable material can catch fire, and the flames may spread to the rest of your home. Hire a professional chimney sweep to clean the chimney, removing leaves, twigs, animal nests, and creosote.
4. Use Space Heaters Carefully
Space heaters are ideal for heating a room quickly, but these appliances can be dangerous. Verify the space heater has a mechanism that shuts it off if the device tips over and never place anything on top of it. Keep a distance of at least five feet between the heater and furniture or other flammable materials. Turn off the space heater before leaving the house or going to bed.
5. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a danger homeowners should be aware of. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas emitted by heating systems and gas-powered appliances. Install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms and on every floor of the home, and test them regularly to verify they are working correctly.
Keeping your family warm is important, but their safety is essential. Heating systems can pose a significant risk if not used correctly. With the tips above, you can heat your home safely and enjoy a cozy winter season with your family.