6 Tips For Safe Home Heating This Winter
By Jon Ching on November 27, 2018
As temperatures are rapidly dropping, you’re going to have to start heating your home soon if you haven’t started already. There are many different options to to choose from when heating your home, and there are safety precautions that you can take for each one of them. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported in the months of December, January, and February, according to the National Fire Protection Association, so protect yourself by following these tips.
1. Pay extra attention to your electric space heaters
Portable, electric space heaters are not the most efficient devices to heat your home, although they are helpful for a little extra warmth in small rooms and most people use them in their homes. Never have your space heater directly facing something like a curtain or carpet because it can create hot spots and potentially start a fire. You should have it placed at least three feet away from furniture, walls, or people.
It’s important to keep an eye on the cord of your space heater, especially if you have pets that might damage cords around the house. Don’t use your space heater if the cord looks to be frayed, worn, or damaged. Also, do not plug it into an extension cord, always plug it directly into the wall outlet to prevent anything from overheating and causing a fire, as space heaters have heating elements that can reach up to 600°F! They may seem small and innocent, but these pieces of equipment are very powerful and can be very dangerous if used improperly.
Lastly, don’t leave your space heater unattended or in a high traffic area like a hallway, and place it on a flat, level surface. Most space heaters are now equipped with an automatic shut off, but still be sure to turn it off whenever you leave a room or go to sleep.
2. Get your fireplace and chimney inspected before you light it
If you use a wood fireplace or pellet burning stove, you should follow the same rule of keeping items at least three feet away from heating equipment. Before lighting your fireplace for the first time this winter, make sure you’ve gotten the fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected in the last year. Otherwise, grime and other build up can start fires inside your chimney which can be very dangerous.
3. Start your fires with the right tools
You also must pay attention to what you are putting into your fireplace once you do start lighting fires. Don’t use starter fluid or gasoline, which can spread fire to your home. The wood you use should be a hardwood which has been sitting for about a year (if you cut it yourself), or wood that you’ve bought that’s seasoned for indoor fireplace use. A lot of lumber or scrap wood is usually treated with chemicals that are dangerous with burned indoors.
4. Make sure heating equipment is cleaned and repaired
Most homes are heated with a furnace or a boiler, which distribute heat through your home with a ventilation system. You should be getting the ventilation system and your boiler or furnace inspected annually for any damage or wear. The equipment also needs to be cleaned to improve efficiency and decrease chance of any accidents or fires. If you regularly maintain your equipment, this is one of the safest and efficient ways to heat your home.
5. Use clean heating methods if possible
Your home might have an electric furnace or other electric heating methods, which are the safest pieces of equipment to heat your home. Electric heating methods are more efficient than gas sources, like your furnace or boiler, but also more expensive. They are a cleaner heating source and you won’t the run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
6. Be prepared with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
However you are heating your home this winter, you should always be sure to regularly check the batteries for your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. There should be at least one on each floor of your home and outside every bedroom.
If you need help choosing the best method of heating your home this winter call the home heating specialists at J2 Plumbing & Heating. We also repair and install heating equipments including furnaces, boilers, radiant systems, baseboard or forced air, and thermostats. You can reach us at 1-833-523-4948. Have a warm and safe winter!