Nobody wants to be cold in the winter. But what do you do when your home heating system isn’t up to the job? Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning has some simple tips for the cooler months ahead, because we want our customers to be warm and safe.
Start With a Cleanup
Obstructions increase fire risk. That risk goes up when you’ve got flammable objects close to anything that generates heat, such as your water heater or furnace. Proper ventilation matters too, because a draft can extinguish pilot lights, and vents clogged with dryer lint can cause overheating and catastrophic fires. Check the guidelines for your appliances and make sure they have adequate clearance and ventilation, and consider bringing in a chimney sweep to take care of your flue and chimney. Also remember that a heating tune-up can identify and solve small issues before they become big — and dangerous — problems.
Don’t Misuse Your Stove and Oven
If you’re experiencing a home heating problem, it can be tempting to fire up the oven or the stove to provide a little extra heat. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons; a hot cooktop or oven can cause injury to a curious pet or toddler, and when left on for extended periods, ovens can pose a carbon monoxide risk. Save the stovetop for your famous spaghetti and meatballs, reserve the oven for brownies, and call your heating and cooling professionals for help with the heat. If you must have a stopgap, a space heater is a safer bet.
Use Space Heaters Sparingly — and Properly
Even though they’re safer, even space heaters pose some potential problems. Never buy a used space heater. Make sure its cord isn’t worn or frayed. And we also strongly advise against using a liquid-fueled space heater indoors.
That isn’t to say space heaters don’t have their uses. You may only need to heat a room temporarily, or you may have need to keep one room warmer than the rest of your house for a short period. But there’s the rub; space heaters aren’t intended for long-term use. When used improperly, they account for 40% of home fires, and an unfortunate 80% of home fire fatalities. If your furnace or boiler has broken down, however, get repairs rather than relying on supplemental heating.
Check Your Detectors
Your home should have both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Hard-wired systems are best, but even a store-bought battery powered detector is vastly preferable to having no protection at all. Make sure your batteries are fresh; we suggest changing the batteries when you change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time, whether you think they need it or not. And if either detector sounds, get your family to safety. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, and can overcome you quicker than you think.
Be Diligent About Maintenance
Maintaining your system with a professional heating tune-up can prevent breakdowns and other issues. Changing filters, cleaning burners, and ensuring components are in good working order helps to ensure your home stays cozy. Call us for these and other home heating needs, and remember that Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning offers 24/7 emergency service to Sacramento, Davis, and Rocklin year ‘round.