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Home Heating-Furnaces to Space Heaters, Inspections are Important

By: Linda Moore

The thought of snow, cold and blowing winds lead to thoughts of warm blankets, furnaces and glowing fires. Home heating is a very important subject in most parts of the country, everything from furnaces to space heaters are used to keep the house toasty warm for our return from the "frozen tundra."


The heating sources that are used can lead to dire consequences if used improperly. Space heaters, for example are responsible for numerous house fires every year. The use of these devises for home heating requires responsibility and constant awareness of the safety issues they present. However, the use of space heaters can be a way to lower heating costs when the price of heating fuel rises by allowing you to use electricity instead.


When shopping for a space heater look for a model that stays cool to the touch and that has a wide base. These two options will make the heater safer to operate. Never use a space heater around a child, even if that child is asleep, the effect of a burn from the unit can be devastating. The chance of a child waking up and stumbling into the heater causing it to tip over and catch on fire is too great to risk.


When preparing your home heating plan for the winter season, it is not enough just to turn the furnace on and hope for the best, it needs to be serviced on a yearly basis to ensure its safety and reliability. Without this inspection, you could, literally be playing with fire.


The furnace inspection will consist of a visual inspection, cleaning of the furnace, detection of carbon monoxide (CO) as well as the checking the burner, ducts and pilot light. This is a short list of what an inspection consists of, but is a good indicator of what to expect when the licensed professional knocks on your door.


The visual portion of the inspection will help to detect any cracks that may exist in the heat exchanger. These cracks may result in the leakage of carbon monoxide fumes into the home. The flue will also be tested for the reason of detecting carbon monoxide (CO) gasses that may leak from the furnace. To be on the safe side, it is best to install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in the main sleeping areas of the home to warn of a possible danger.


The inspectors will also be cleaning the furnace ducts of dust that has accumulated throughout the summer. Dust can be combustible therefore, it is necessary to remove it before starting the furnace. The burner and pilot light will also be inspected to ensure that they are working properly.


Follow these tips when heating your home this winter and sleep peacefully at night knowing that you have done you duty to protect your family, when they are snuggled in their beds as well.

Linda Moore writes on a variety of subjects including home ownership, family matters, travel, personal enrichment, lowering your heating bills and
home air purifiers


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