When temperatures drop in the winter months, thermostats rise inside of homes everywhere. Here are some tips to follow to safely heat your home and stay warm inside during winter.
- Get your furnace inspected annually – One of the most important things to do before winter comes is to get your furnace/boiler in your household inspected. And, every 3-4 months, you should be checking on your heating system to ensure it is running optimally and that your furnace filter is up-to-date or if it needs to be changed. Furnace maintenance is key when it comes to heating a household, and identifying potential problems early can make the difference between a small fix or a big, costly repair or replacement.
- Keep your gas meter clear of snow – If you allow snow to accumulate on your gas meter, this can cause abnormal pressure as well as stress on the meter. Gently wipe the snow from your gas meter to ensure that it is free of any accumulation.
- Clear your vents of debris and dust – With your heat traveling through the ventilation of your household, it is important to take care of any problem that could prevent the heat from moving freely. This means clearing the covers of your vents from any dust or debris that is blocking airflow, as well as to keeping your air filter(s) up-to-date.
- Properly use space heaters – A space heater might be a solution for heating a room that can’t hold heat, but it also comes with risk. It’s important that you never leave a space heater on while unattended and that you place it in an area where there is enough space to not mistakenly knock it over. Also, never plug your space heater into an extension cord and keep anything that can possibly burn at least three feet away.
- Clean/check your fireplace – While a fireplace may not heat an entire home, it can still be a great way to heat an immediate area. For both gas and wood fireplaces, make sure to clean your chimney for any buildup that could start a fire and have a safety screen in front of the fireplace when it’s in use. For gas fireplaces, get your gas lines checked and have the burner checked every year. And remember – when you’re done using your fireplace, make sure the hearth is completely out as fire embers can live under the ash in your wood-burning fireplace. If gas-burning, remember to completely turn it off to reduce risks of being exposed to carbon monoxide.