6 Safety Tips For Heating Your Home This Winter

Central Alabama has already experienced several nights of below freezing temperatures, so you’ve probably (hopefully) already have the heat on. Unfortunately, most home fires in winter are caused by malfunctioning or poorly maintained heaters, and we don’t want that happening to you. Mainline Heating and Air Conditioning can take care of your furnace repairs in order to fix existing problems and prevent dangerous issues. Alternative heating methods like fireplaces and space heaters can also pose risks.  Here’s how you can stay safe and warm this winter:

Have Your Furnace Inspected by Mainline

Having a professional from Mainline Heating and Air Conditioning check your furnace gives you peace-of-mind that your system is running efficiently. We will also ensure that all connections are tight and the system isn’t showing signs of wear. We can repair worn or problematic components in order to keep your furnace running efficiently and safely. Making sure everything is in good working order will save you time and money and may be critical to your family’s safety.

Clear the Areas around Furnace and Vents

Make sure there are no cardboard boxes, newspapers, rags, and other flammable materials near your heating system. Make sure the same is true of your vents. A blocked airway or poorly ventilated furnace can transform an otherwise meaningless spark into a large blaze.

Anything that is flammable should be kept at least three feet away from heating equipment including fireplaces, furnaces, space heaters, and wood stoves.

Clean the Chimney

If you have a fireplace and chimney, you need to have them cleaned once a year. If you haven’t used it in a while, it’s possible a small animal could have built a nest in or on top of your chimney. Creosote can also build up within an uncleaned chimney and cause fires. Have a professional check your chimney before using it for the first time this winter. If you’ve already started using it, it’s not too late to have a professional come check it out. 

Use Caution With Alternative Heating Methods

Just because something is a heat source does not mean you should use it to heat your home. When frigid temps arrive and furnaces give out, some people are tempted to use equipment like ovens to stay warm. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if you have a gas stove. Instead, space heaters or fireplaces are appropriate alternatives if used safely and correctly. 

If you have a heating emergency and need your furnace repaired, contact the heating professionals at Mainline in Alabaster, AL. Please be cautious using alternative methods to heat your home- do not use candles, your oven, or a continuously running hot shower to attempt to warm up the whole house.

Turn Portable Heaters Off When Not In Use

Turn portable space heaters OFF when leaving the room or going to bed. There is no reason to heat a room you’re not in and it’s extremely difficult to recognize a fire hazard while you’re sleeping. The same goes for candles. Never leave either of these items unattended.

Space heaters account for about 80% of home heating fire deaths each year. Using them properly, and turning them off when they’re not being monitored, is critical to not becoming a statistic.

Change Batteries on Your Smoke Detector

The fire department reminds us to change the batteries in our smoke detectors when the time changes twice a year. If you haven’t done so this year, we recommend doing that today, don’t put it off any longer. Using portable and space heaters correctly should help prevent a house fire, but we know things can still happen despite your best effort. If, for whatever reason, a house fire were to start, you and your family need to be alerted as soon as possible. That’s why changing the batteries in your smoke detector and testing it monthly is so important. Maintaining a good alert system is crucial to getting out of the home safely.

If you’d like to ensure your furnace is in good operating order, contact us at Mainline Heating and Air Conditioning today!

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