Winter Safety for HVAC, Space Heaters, and More

The last gasp of winter is still hitting New England hard, and it’s important to review HVAC and heating safety for homeowners and their families even this late in the season. Early on as the snows fall, we’re all more alert to issues. In late winter safety concerns about our HVAC and furnaces often take a back seat as we scramble to get ready for spring.

HVAC Exhaust

Every gas, oil, kerosene, or diesel fuel burning furnace must have some kind of outdoor exhaust. During the winter, remember to safety check your HVAC exhaust pipe after every snowfall and clear the space around it. It should be clear of snow, ice, debris, and the exposed vent shouldn’t be pointed straight up at the sky. If it is, call a professional like Home Air Plus to come out and rectify the situation.

When an exhaust pipe or vent for your heating system or HVAC is blocked, two things can happen:

  1. The house can fill up with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an immediately safety hazard for your family. This is especially true in larger or older houses where HVAC systems have only one major exhaust or the system is old and has many twists and turns in the vents.
  2. It only takes fuel, oxygen, and a spark to start a fire. Keep your home and family safe throughout the winter by making sure your vents are clear and clean after every snow.

Repairs and Damages

Make sure to check over your HVAC or heating system a few times per winter for safety concerns. Peeling tape, clogged vents, and objects too close to vents can create a serious safety hazard. Monitor your winter energy bill and be alert to any sudden change. It could indicate a blockage in your system or potential safety hazards with your heating system.

When cleaning and packing in storage for the winter, try to make sure all the spaces around your internal HVAC vents (where the heat enters the room) are clear of furniture or items. If a thermostat is near a vent which is partially blocked, it will give a false reading because of heat build up. This could be a safety concern, cause discomfort in your home, and create unnecessary expenses for you.

Space Heaters

Maybe you’ve lost power, maybe you’ve just got a room that’s always a bit chilly. Whatever the reason, your winter plans may involve a space heater. Keep in mind that a space heater comes with added risk. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using one:

  • Keep all fabric, furniture, and curtains clear of the space heater. If you have a carpeted floor, make sure you’ve got the space heater up off of it on a non-flammable surface.
  • Clean your space heater throughout the winter to maintain safety and keep any dust bunnies from sparking a fire in your home.
  • Never use an extension cord for a space heater. The circuit should be grounded and the cord must be plugged straight into the wall.
  • Inspect the cords and wall outlets your space heater is plugged into throughout the winter and make sure neither are frayed nor corroded. If you’re uncertain, unplug it and call in a professional to make sure it’s safe to use.

Need assistance with your heating system this winter or spring? We can help! Call Home Air Plus today for 24/7 emergency service.

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