As winter approaches in New England, homeowners are getting their heating systems ready. Here are our top ten recommended home heating safety tips and how we can help you get energy-efficient, reliable heating this season.
1. Keep Flammable Items at Least 3’ Away from Heated Surfaces
Make sure that anything flammable -- from furniture to rugs and throws -- is at least 3' away from any heating appliance or hot surface. This includes keeping curtains away from ductless air handlers and furniture away from baseboard heaters.
2. Check Your Smoke Alarms Monthly at Minimum
You should check your smoke alarms every month to make sure they alert you when smoke is present. If necessary, change the batteries. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that a smoke alarm be installed inside and outside every bedroom or sleeping area, in addition to smoke alarms in kitchens and above clothes dryers.
3. Always Work with a Qualified HVAC Professional
Before hiring an HVAC provider, do your due diligence to ensure you’re working with a skilled professional and not a poorly trained jack-of-all-trades.
4. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In addition to smoke detectors, your home should also have carbon monoxide detectors. Safety.com recommends that you have one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, inside each bedroom, and one in your garage.
5. If You Have a Fireplace, Use a Sturdy Screen
If your home has a fireplace that you use during the winter for supplemental heating, it's important to have a sturdy fireplace screen that prevents ashes and embers from landing on the floor or on furniture outside the fireplace area.
6. Do Not Put Fireplace Ashes into a Plastic Container
When disposing of your fireplace ashes, never do so in a plastic container even if you think the ashes are completely out. If they aren't, they could melt through the container and cause a fire.
7. Follow the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Instructions on All Heating Equipment
Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions on all heating equipment you use, from electric space heaters to ductless heating systems. Your HVAC professional can help you understand how to use and maintain your heating system for best results.
8. Never Leave Supplemental Heating Devices Unsupervised
Supplemental heating devices like space heaters should never be left unsupervised when in use, even if they have an alarm that sounds or a mechanism that shuts the heater off when the appliance is tipped over.
9. Do Not Attempt to Heat Your Home with Your Oven
Although you might get a nice boost of warmth anytime you bake during the winter, don't use your oven specifically for the purpose of heating your home. Not only is this costly and dangerous, it's ineffective.
10. Leave Your Home Immediately If You Smell Gas
If you have a gas heating system and smell sulfur or rotten eggs (the scent of a compound added to gas to give it an odor), leave your home immediately and call your HVAC professional.
Contact N.E.T.R., Inc. Today for Qualified Heating Service
At N.E.T.R., we’re dedicated to providing our valued customers with home heating solutions that fit their unique needs. Contact us today to learn about energy-efficient ductless heating, supplemental heating, and other heating options for your home by calling 781.933.NETR (6387).