Winter home safety may not sound particularly important when winters are as mild as ours. Nevertheless, we do have cold spells, temperatures do plunge and we do need our furnaces at times. When you use a furnace or any gas- or oil-powered appliance, combustion exhaust fumes are a concern. But that’s just one aspect of safety in your home to be on top of in the winter. Read on for other tips.
Close Up the House
Whenever temperatures fall, you’ll want to close up the house and turn on the furnace. But an airtight house can present some concerns. The major one is carbon monoxide buildup. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that is also deadly in large enough accumulations. The best way to ensure you don’t experience problems with CO buildup is to schedule furnace maintenance every year. Your technician should check the furnace for proper operation, by inspecting burners and pilot assembly, thermostat and controls, blower operation and the heat exchanger, looking for minute cracks that might emit CO.
If you have a fireplace in your Orlando home, be sure you have it and the chimney inspected for creosote every year. Creosote looks black and fuzzy inside the walls of the chimney and should be cleaned or it can catch fire or cause the fireplace to smoke. Be sure to install a smoke alarm if you don’t already have one.
Install CO Monitors
CO monitors are a must for any house with fuel-burning appliances. Locate them in a central location (close to bedrooms is a good idea), 5 feet from the ground and on every floor. For greatest safety, make sure they are interconnected so that if one goes off, they all go off. Check the alarms periodically to make sure they are in good working order. Change batteries and tighten loose wires. Have a plan for evacuating your home if the alarm sounds.
To learn more about winter home safety, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve been the quality leader in Orlando since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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