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Winter Safety Tips for Heating Houston Homes

Is your heating system safe? It may not be a concern for your Houston home at the moment, but soon the temperatures could drop to chilly morning lows – and you’ll need your heating unit. Though we don’t use our furnace or heat pump on a continuous basis throughout the winter season, when seasonal weather dips to the low 40’s – heat is essential. Whether your home has a central heating system, a heat pump or a portable heater, it is important to take steps to ensure safety. We’ve compiled a list of the most important tips for a variety of heating options.

Annual Tune-Up: If you have a central air system with a heating unit of any kind, it is imperative that you schedule a bi-annual tune-up before each heating and cooling season. Professional maintenance will help ensure that your system runs smoothly throughout the season and enjoys a long life. It will also minimize expensive repair work by catching minor problems before they become safety hazards.

Change Air Filter: Changing your furnace air filter when it’s dirty is essential in keeping your unit running smoothly. Change out the filter this season before you begin using your heater on a continuous basis.

Clean/Clear Areas: Minimize the chance of fire by clearing the area around your heating system (including portable heater). Try to avoid storing anything close to your furnace – especially flammable items. Make sure that portable space heaters are kept away from curtains and bedding; try leaving a space of at least 3 feet between the heater and surrounding objects.

Fireplace Safety: If you own a fireplace, there are several important guidelines to follow. During the holidays, make sure that you keep the mantle and the surrounding area free from clutter. A fire uses around 5 times as much oxygen as a typical room requires. Make sure that you crack open a window when you make fire. Never leave a fire unattended – and always use a screen to keep embers from catching fire.

How to Make Sure Your Fireplace is Safe

Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors/Fire Alarms: A carbon monoxide leak is one of the biggest safety threats of a malfunctioning furnace. A CO2 detector is essential in keeping your household safe from a hazardous leak. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) space heaters are involved in 79% of fatal home heating fires.

More Information on Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms

Outlet Safety: Never plug more than one heat producing appliance (including space heaters and radiators) into an outlet at a time.

Universal Home Experts hope that you and your family have a safe, comfortable holiday season. We want to remind you that it’s never too late to schedule a tune-up for your HVAC system. If your system hasn’t been checked for the oncoming season, give us a call today at (713) 364-0226 and we’ll set up an appointment with a technician.

NFPA Heating Safety Tips