Furnace Safety Tips for Winter

Winter has officially arrived in the U.S., requiring you to run the heater on full blast to keep your home cozy. Are you sure your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating devices are safe? While vital for staying warm, heating equipment can become a hazard if not used and maintained correctly. Explore some essential heating system safety guidelines to ensure a cozy and worry-free winter.

Identifying the Risks

Because families rely heavily on heating systems in the winter, home fires and heating-related accidents spike this time of year. A few typical risks include:

Candles and holiday decorations: Winter celebrations typically include decorative lights and candles. Even though these items make the long winter nights more cheerful, they can become fire hazards if left unattended or placed near flammable materials.

Generators: Using a generator during a power outage is a good backup plan. However, incorrect use can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Confirm that these machines are located outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces play a crucial role in causing home fires during the winter. Even though crafted to run safely, these devices can become risky if they are outdated, malfunctioning or improperly used.

Poor ventilation: Improper ventilation can cause dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with outdated electrical systems may face challenges when trying to meet the demands of today’s heating appliances. When operated beyond its capacity, the wiring may overheat, increasing the likelihood of electrical fires.

Improper use of heating appliances: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like running the oven to provide warmth, or draping wet socks over a space heater, can be dangerous.

General Precautions

Follow these safety recommendations in the winter and throughout the year to keep your residence and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you detect a mysterious rotten egg smell, it may be a gas leak. For your protection, act immediately—open windows and doors to ventilate the area, evacuate the area and call your local gas company and fire department.

Combustible items: Always put anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

Children’s safety: Educate your youngest family members about the hazards of matches, candles and heating equipment. After that, establish a “kid-free zone” close to open flames and heaters to avoid accidents. 

Electric safety: Do not run heating equipment using extension cords or power strips. In addition, plug only one high-power-draw device into an electrical outlet at a time. These tips help prevent electrical overloads, which can cause overheating and fires.

Candle safety: Thoroughly watch lit candles and make sure they are extinguished before walking out of the room or going to sleep.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms: Install these products in your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them every 30 days.

Specific Heating Equipment Tips

Here are several heating system safety guidelines to remember this winter:

Professional setup: Because a poor setup can increase the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shock, you should always leave furnace installation to an expert. You’ll appreciate peace of mind for many years, knowing your equipment is running the way it should.

Routine maintenance: Yearly inspections of your heating equipment and chimneys by well-qualified professionals can uncover hidden concerns that might not be apparent to the untrained eye. These visits can detect worn-out parts, ventilation issues and potential gas leaks. Routine maintenance also ensures maximum efficiency and extends your system’s life span.

Space heaters: Do not allow space heaters to run unattended or while you’re sleeping. Position these devices on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the unit.

Fireplaces: Place a metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting nearby objects. Put out the flames before leaving your dwelling or nodding off to sleep. Once it has completely cooled, put the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your house.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Heating Service in the U.S.

As the winter season intensifies, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is ready to protect your comfort and safety. Our ACE-certified technicians supply fast, long-lasting remedies for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with our work, you can count on us to make it right. Along with our technical expertise, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is very involved in the local communities we serve and remain devoted to innovation and customer engagement. For assistance staying warm this winter, call 866-397-3787 today to arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

  • Eight Frequent Heating Misconceptions Debunked

    There are lots of myths out there about home heating that lead to confusion and inefficient furnace operation. It’s time to clear up these common misconceptions. Here, the heating authorities at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing reveal the truth behind the eight most common... Continue reading

  • Eight Ways to Upgrade Your HVAC System

    During the cold winter months in the U.S., there’s no better way to enhance your home’s comfort than with some effective upgrades. It’s not simply about keeping the house toasty warm as the snow begins to fall—it’s about boosting efficiency and improving the very air you breathe. Learn... Continue reading

  • How to Pick Out a Good HVAC System

    In terms of keeping your home comfortable during every season, nothing is more critical than picking out the right heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This choice impacts your daily comfort, monthly utility expenditures and general home efficiency. Then again, with so many... Continue reading