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Have Fun and Stay Safe with These Easy Holiday HVAC and Fireplace Tips

Note to Self: Avoid Carbon Monoxide and Grandma’s Special Rum Punch

furnace, heatingWith friends and family around the home and office for holiday parties and more, it’s easy to forget that your furnace and fireplace still require some oversight to stay safe this holiday season. It’s hard enough to avoid the nutritional hazards of your average office party or family get together. Don’t spoil the fun with a visit from your fire department too!

Have Your Equipment Inspected

Did you know that your heating system, water heater and any gas or other fuel-burning appliance needs to be checked by a qualified technician at least once a year? This includes a carbon monoxide test. With colder weather and windows closed, it’s critically important to make sure your heating unit and any other appliances are not leaking carbon monoxide. While deadly in large amounts, even smaller doses of this odorless, colorless gas can result in frequent headaches, nausea, and other flu-like health symptoms. Don’t take a chance!

Don’t Grill in Your Garage

Everyone knows not to use a charcoal or gas grill inside the house, but did you know that it’s also unsafe to use these products inside the garage? Ventilation is everything. No matter what the weather, it’s still safer grilling outside than in.

Keep a Window Open When You Use Your Fireplace

Using your fireplace to get in that holiday spirit? It never hurts to let in a little extra air and ensure your home is always well ventilated. Have you checked your chimney flue damper before starting the fire? It’s absolutely a must to keep this damper open whenever burning something in the fireplace, so as to draw the smoke outside the house. Never close the damper until you’re  certain the embers are no longer burning.

Clean the Clutter

Whether you’re just using the furnace or burning a fire in the fireplace, it’s essential to check that nothing is blocking your vents or your hearth. Presents loaded up against a furnace vent will not only prevent air from circulating properly, but also will ratchet up your energy bills unnecessarily. And drapes, gifts, newspaper, or other items scattered across a fireplace hearth can be a serious fire risk.

Don’t Throw Warm Ashes in the Trash

It may seem obvious, but sometimes during the holidays people make absent-minded mistakes. Don’t put warm fireplace ashes anywhere outside the fireplace, least of all in a trash bag or other flammable container. It’s an all-too-common mistake that leads to holiday disasters more often than you might think. Warm ashes can catch fire easily.

This time of year is busy enough without having to worry about safety. As the weather gets cooler, emergency personnel do see an uptick across the country in unfortunate accidents and unnecessary tragedies related to fireplace and furnace operation. Use these simple tips to help you, your family and your office colleagues stay cozy, comfortable and safe during this very special season. And Happy Holidays!

It’s time to get your furnace inspected for safe and cost effective operation throughout the season. Call Air-Tro today! (626) 357-3535.