Staying Safe and Warm in Your Home during the Cold Months

Ready or not, the colder months have arrived. While excitement surrounds the beauty of a winter wonderland, unless you are Frosty the Snow Man, the inside of our homes are not the place we prefer to experience those chilling temperatures.  With a concern for both energy efficiency and home safety, here are a few tips as those snowflakes fall.

Safety First:

When it comes to a little extra heat on those colder days, a space heater can do just the trick. There are, however, several things to keep in mind when using one.

There are some Do’s:

-Keep your heater at least 3 feet away from any flammable materials such as beds, sofas, curtains, documents, clothes, etc.

-Be sure to check the cords on your heater to ensure there is no damages, frays, or exposed wires.

-Check the plug to make sure it is snug. Loose outlets or cords could cause a fire so be sure they are secured and not in jeopardy of falling out.

-Ensure your heater is not at risk for being knocked over – keep it upright and stable in a location where the risk of tipping over is minimal.

-Unless you are awake and directly using your space heater, turn it off. Do not leave it on overnight or while you are in another room.

-Communicate with other residents in your home on how to properly operate the heater. Hold each other accountable for proper use.

-Follow the manufacturers’ directions and instructions.

And some Dont’s:

-Do not place your hater in a crowded room with anything flammable around the front, side or rear of the unit.

-Do not use an extension cord or power strip to power your heater.

-Do not use your heater if the power cord or wall heater feels hot to the touch. Instead, unplug it and call an electrician to inspect.

-Do not use your heater around water as there is a risk of electrocution.

-Do not place your heater cords under rugs, carpets or furniture.

-Do not allow children to operate the heater without proper training or supervision.

Save a few:

Fuzzy socks and extra blankets can help combat the cold to some degree, but when it comes down to it, tis the season for racking up that heating bill. Here are a couple things to keep in mind that can help you save and stay warm.

-Your fireplace can be a secret weapon to fight the cold, however if it is not properly maintained or the flue is left open, you could be losing 14% of your heat as it rushes up the chimney.

-While a more popular choice in the warmer months, fans can help recirculate the warmer air that rises to the top of the ceiling. By turning your fans to run clockwise, that heated but escaping air gets pushed back down to the floor.

-Let the sun do the work. Allow for the sunlight to naturally heat your home on those days it breaks through the clouds.

-Keep those filters clean! Replacing or cleaning the filters for your heating units will save you 5-10 percent of your heating costs by allowing the warm air to be pushed out with less effort.

-Keep ventilation fan use to a minimum. While it can remove smoke from the kitchen or less desirable smells from the bathroom, slowly but surely the nice warm air you paid for will escape out with it.

There are many other tips and tricks to keeping your cost down and safety up during bouts of colder weather. The important thing is that you and your family stay safe and warm and have the ability to admire the frosty air and falling snowflakes from inside.

 

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