15 Winter Heating Safety Tips

As the temperatures continue to drop around our service area (East Bay, Sacramento, San Jose, and nearby), more and more people will be relying on their favorite heat source to keep warm and comfortable in their Northern California home.

Whether that means a gas furnace, space heater, fireplace, or some combination, we want you to be safe this winter, so we put together these quick heating safety tips for you.

Wood-Burning Stove & Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are popular in many Northern Californian homes for their ambiance.

If you rely on wood-burning stoves or fireplaces to provide or supplement heat to your home, make sure you understand the potential dangers.

Use these heating safety tips to keep your home and family safe:

  • Use only dry, seasoned wood
  • Don’t leave fires unattended
  • Have your chimney inspected (and depending on the frequency of use, cleaned) every year
  • Never burn garbage in your fireplace
  • Watch children carefully around fireplaces and gas stoves
  • Keep flammable materials at least 3 feet away from all heat sources

Gas Furnace Safety

The most popular way to heat homes in Northern California is with a gas furnace. While properly maintained gas furnaces are very safe, the heating process involves a flame and fuel, which means there is always potential for a problem.

You can avoid most problems by following these tips:

  • Ensure proper ventilation (speak with a professional HVAC technician)
  • Get an annual furnace tune-up
  • Clean and clear the area around your furnace
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms throughout the home

Space Heater Safety

Many people use electric and gas space heaters in their homes for supplemental heat. If you turn down the heating system and stay in one area where the space heater is, you can actually save some money on your energy bill. Just make sure you turn down the thermostat first; otherwise, you are spending more money.

However, it is important to remember that space heaters are just that – supplemental heat. They are not designed to replace your home heating system and can cause problems when used in this way.

Here are some important space heater safety tips:

  • Do not use extension cords; plug the space heater in directly
  • Place heaters on a solid, flat, level surface
  • Do not use electric heaters in the bathroom or other wet/damp areas
  • Periodically check electric heater cords for exposed wires and damage (do not use if you notice any damage)
  • For gas heaters, use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturer

As the cold weather continues throughout much of Northern California, keep your family safe by observing these heating safety tips this winter.

If you have any questions about your heating system, don’t hesitate to Ask a Champion. Schedule a professional HVAC tune-up today:

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