HVAC Safety Tips You Need to Know

Winter has officially arrived in Buffalo, requiring you to run the heater at its highest setting to keep your home warm. Are you sure your furnace, space heater, fireplace and other heating devices are safe? While crucial for staying warm, heating equipment can be risky if not used and maintained appropriately. Check out some vital heating system safety tips to ensure a comfortable and safe winter.

Understanding the Risks

Because households rely heavily on heating systems when it’s cold, home fires and heating-related accidents spike this time of year. Several common risks include:

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

Generators: Relying on a generator during a blackout is a good backup plan. But, incorrect use can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks and fires. Ensure these machines are set up outside and far from windows or doors.

Heating appliances: Space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces are among the many threats of home fires during the colder months. Although engineered to operate safely, these devices can become risky if they are outdated, malfunctioning or improperly used.

Lack of ventilation: Inadequate ventilation can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, especially from natural gas, propane or oil heaters.

Old wiring: Older homes with obsolete electrical systems may encounter difficulties from the demands of modern heating appliances. When operated beyond its capacity, the wiring may overheat, increasing the likelihood of electrical fires.

Improper use of heating equipment: Using equipment for unintended purposes, like firing up the oven to provide warmth, or throwing wet socks over a space heater, can be hazardous.

General Guidelines

Use these safety guidelines in the winter and during the year to keep your household and family safe:

Gas leaks: If you notice a mysterious rotten egg smell, it may be a gas leak. For your well-being, act immediately—open windows and doors to air things out, evacuate the area and get in touch with your local gas company and fire department.

Flammable items: Make sure to place anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet away from heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters.

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

Energy safety: Do not run heating equipment using extension cords or power strips. Also, 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: Diligently watch lit candles and blow them out before walking out of the room or going to sleep.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide sensors: Install these devices inside your home, especially right outside sleeping areas and test them monthly.

Ways to Stay Safe with Heating Systems

Here are some helpful heating system safety tips to take into account this winter:

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

Routine maintenance: Yearly inspections of your heating equipment and chimneys by trained professionals can uncover hidden concerns that might not be recognizable to the untrained eye. These appointments can identify worn-out parts, ventilation malfunctions and potential gas leaks. Scheduled maintenance also ensures peak efficiency and lengthens your system’s life span.

Space heaters: You shouldn’t ever allow space heaters to function unattended or while you’re in bed. Put these items on a stable, non-flammable surface and keep anything that could catch fire away from the front, back and sides of the equipment.

Fireplaces: Install a metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from flying out and igniting nearby materials. Snuff out the flames before leaving your dwelling or sleeping. Once it has totally cooled, collect the ashes in a metal container and store them outside a safe distance from your premises.

Choose Sunbeam Service Experts for Heating Service in Buffalo

As the winter season intensifies, Sunbeam Service Experts is ready to preserve your comfort and security. Our ACE-certified technicians supply fast, long-lasting answers for all your heating needs, with services backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not pleased with our work, you can count on us to make it right. In addition to our technical expertise, Sunbeam Service Experts is deeply involved in the local communities we serve and remain dedicated to innovation and customer engagement. For heating service in your neighborhood, call 716-427-6807 today to schedule an appointment with Sunbeam Service Experts.

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