The fall season hasn’t officially started yet, but the cold weather sure has. Temperatures have dipped into the 30’s at night, making many homes too cold for young children or the elderly the next morning. Many people will be reluctantly turning on their heat for the first time since last spring. Before you do so, there are a few things you should check to make sure your house is ready, FEMA has more winter storm tips as well.
The furnace needs to be examined for any issues before you turn it on for the first time. If you are using oil, make sure the oil tank is full. If you use natural gas, make sure the gas line coming into the house is properly open. Make sure the pilot is properly lit. Clear any debris from around the furnace and boilers that could become flammable. Home Safety Council outlines other heating method safety tips.
Once the furnace has been inspected, it’s time to make sure the house is sealed up to successfully contain the heat. Now is the time to take out any fans or air conditioners that are in any windows. Check all the windows and make sure they are closed and have no cracks or holes. Be sure to check any basement or bulkhead doors that may have drafts and properly seal them.
In order to get the most efficient use out of your heating system, a smart thermostat is a must. These programmable thermostats can be set to a daily schedule to keep the house warm when it is occupied, and to be turned off during hours that no one is home or sleeping under warm covers.
Carbon Monoxide Warning
Finally, before you turn on the heat in your house, it is wise to install a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace. If the furnace is not working properly, it may leak poisonous amounts of carbon monoxide into the house, making for a dangerous situation. Since carbon monoxide has no odor, it is essentially impossible to identify without a detector. Many carbon monoxide detectors are cheap and can be plugged into an electrical outlet.
Turn on the Heat
Once you follow these steps, you are ready to turn on the heat and enjoy a warm and cozy winter. If you are unsure on any of these steps, you can contact a professional plumber who can perform a routine maintenance checkup on the furnace for you, ensuring it is properly running.
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