The holiday season is supposed to be filled with family, friends, and overflowing joy. We know you work hard to make sure everything is just right. You decorate the house, purchase and wrap gifts, and cook all the right things to complete your holiday tradition. And in Florida, heating your home is not necessary too often. But did you know that heater fires are one of the most common reasons for house fires? That is why homeowners count on VETERANS for heating tips for your joyous 2021 holidays.
Veterans AC & Heat is your local HVAC Repair and Replacement Company for the Pinellas and Hillsborough County areas. If you are having issues with your heating, call the professional staff at Veterans AC & Heat for help before the company rolls in.
Heating Your Home in Florida
Of course, in Florida, we seldom have the need to turn on the heater. So, unlike those up north, we may not be accustomed to all the heating methods available today. But you can keep your heating equipment, home, and family safe from the danger of a heater fire by taking the following precautions. The last thing you want is a house fire during the holidays. Your family is worth the extra time it takes to be sure heating your home is safe and cozy too.
Here are a few rules to live by when heating your home.
- Blow out candles and turn off heating equipment other than the central HVAC before leaving home or going to bed.
- Keep anything that might be flammable at least 3 feet away from any open flames or heating equipment, including candles, space heaters, furnaces, stoves, and radiators.
- Don’t overload your electrical circuits. Usually, only three sets of lights are allowed to be strung together. Get another plug strip to handle the remainder of the lights.
- For added protection, use a surge protector on your tree and house lights.
- Don’t hang clothing or fabric over lamps to warm them for faster drying or even mood lighting. What may seem like a cozy idea can rapidly escalate into a fire.
- Inspect cords and connections before using your holiday decorations or space heaters. If there are loose connections or exposed wires, opt to repair them or purchase new ones. It is not worth the risk.
- Never use your oven as the sole source for heating your home. Leaving the oven door open is a safety hazard in more ways than one.
- Please do not make the mistake of turning on the car to warm it up in the garage. That one time you think you’ll be right back can fill the garage and home with dangerous fumes.
Clearly, there are several ways you can keep the home safe according to the unit you have chosen to provide heat to the home.
Heating Your Home With Space Heaters
A space heater is an excellent localized source of heat. When the HVAC system does not adequately warm a room, individual space heaters will reduce strain on the primary HVAC system. And if you have that family member that is always cold, they may need one too. So here are our tips for heating the home safely this holiday season with space heaters.
1. Never use an extension cord with your space heaters. They must be plugged directly into an outlet.
2. Ensure space heaters are unplugged when leaving a room. Never leave candles or space heaters unattended, especially if there are pets or children in the home.
3. Don’t store flammable liquids, such as paint thinners, gasoline, or cleaning products near a heat source.
4. If you have a space heater that uses propane or natural gas, consider the following.
- Make sure there is adequate ventilation. Without proper air circulation and good supply, you place your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Ensure your heater pilot light is working correctly at the beginning of the season. If you find you are relighting it, again and again, call for professional service on the unit.
- Most critically, if you smell gas or any other fumes, feel dizzy, notice a yellow or flickering pilot light, turn off the heater immediately. Then, don’t turn it back on again until your Veterans technician says it is safe to do so.
Central HVAC for Heating Your Home
Central heating can be the safest way of heating the home. Although there are still times when the system needs repair or a reset. Here are a few safety tips for your heating system.
- Don’t set the heat to higher than 84 degrees when leaving the house or on vacation. The increased heat can strain the system and encourage mold and mildew growth in the walls.
- Replace the filters in your system to avoid excess accumulation and fire.
- When using the oven, give the heater a break by turning it down a tiny bit. That way, you are conserving energy and not overheating the home. But never use the oven to heat the house alone.
- Restricted vents will impede airflow and make you think you need to turn the heat up. So, keep all furniture and draperies away from the vents.
- Have your HVAC unit professionally serviced in the spring and fall.
- And inspect your HVAC ductwork, too. Holes in the vents cause the warm air to escape and can cause damage to the system.
Heating Your Home with a Roaring Fireplace
Not many homes in Florida have nice fireplaces. But if you do, you are one of the lucky ones. Knowing just how to keep that fireplace safe is vital. Here are a few tips for those who don’t often use a fireplace.
- Ensure the flue is open each time you go to light the fire. You never know when another family member has closed it.
- Place a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace or woodstove to keep sparks from flying into the room.
- Keep blankets and pillows away from the fireplace.
- Always teach young children and pets to stay a safe distance from the fireplace.
- Never stuff the fireplace too full. Replace logs and starters as needed.
Carbon Monoxide Warning
“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas that claims over 430 lives a year,” according to Safewise.com. And even small doses of carbon monoxide can damage the lungs and even cause death. Without a carbon monoxide detector, it is almost impossible to sense the danger before too late.
The early warnings of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Shortness of breath
- And fatigue.
When heating your home, it is critical to install a detector and monitor the heating systems. The following are our best practices to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Clearly, never use your grill or any other fuel-burning appliance indoors or in the garage. If it is too cold to grill outdoors, it is too cold to grill at all.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every 30 days. Replace them or the batteries when necessary.
- If you think your home may be experiencing a gas leak, turn off the gas at the main valve and don’t ignite anything. This includes the use of lights and electrical devices. Then leave the area immediately if you smell gas. Finally, call your local gas company from a safe location across the street.
Alternative Ways for Heating the Home This Holiday
There are plenty of other ways to keep the home warm in the winter months. Cuddling up in a warm blanket and a nice soft sweater is one way to stay warm and enjoy the cooler months. Keeping the window blinds open is a straightforward way you can increase interior heat. And remember the switch on the ceiling fan? Switch it for reverse heat flow.
Service & Repair During the Holidays
As with the AC system, adding regular heating maintenance to your list of bi-annual services is a good idea. Keep your system up and running when you need it with the professionals at Veterans AC & Heat.
HVAC units will benefit from a professional diagnosis if you are experiencing any of these items:
- Unusually high utility bills
- The system is running constantly
- Rooms that are too cold or hot
- Draftiness due to damaged insulation
Veterans HVAC’s qualified technicians will perform a professional heater performance inspection to locate the different elements that impact comfort, performance, and energy efficiency.
Under a maintenance program visit, we will inspect your entire heating system and check for components that may need to be repaired. During the visit, we perform the following:
- Check all gas connections
- Clean the burners and pilot light
- Tighten electrical connections
- Test the thermostat and blower fan
- Lubricate the moving parts to include the blower motor.
Our heating repair and maintenance experts will ensure your system is ready for winter.
Heating the Home with Veterans AC & Heat Service
Should your heating system stop working during a cold stretch of weather, you need someone that can fix it fast. Call Veterans AC & Heat for all your heating repair needs.
Whether it is a routine repair or an emergency, we are on call and ready to get your heating system back in working order, even during the holiday season.
Veterans AC & Heat offers a variety of home and business heating repair services. On-call 24/7, our heating repair and maintenance technicians can be at your home or business immediately to inspect and repair your system and get it back in working order fast.
Contact VETERANS AC & Heat to schedule an appointment today.