Let It Snow: What Are Some Common Winter HVAC Hazards?
Nothing compares to cozying up indoors, pouring a cup of hot chocolate and spending time with your loved ones on a cold winter day. However, if your HVAC unit isn’t operating properly, a relaxing day at home can turn uncomfortable fast! We’ve outlined a few common winter HVAC hazards below so your family can be prepared.
Many people think that closing the vents in low-traffic areas of your home will save energy, but that isn’t the case. Closing your air vents will actually increase the pressure in your ductwork , which will eventually cause damage to your HVAC system. Your system will also work harder to heat up your home, leading to more energy use than normal. Make sure that no vents in your home are closed or blocked by furniture to avoid costly repairs over time.
While rare, it is possible for your HVAC unit to catch fire. Make sure that your furnace is never crowded. Many people don’t realize that storing boxes, bags, holiday decorations and chemicals around your furnace is a fire hazard and should be avoided. Make sure to keep all items at least a few feet away from all sources of heat such as vents, space heaters, your furnace or your fireplace. Also, if you see smoke or notice a burning plastic smell, you should contact an HVAC professional right away to check your electrical connections. Make sure that all of your smoke detectors are in working condition, and replace old batteries with a fresh set.
It’s important to change your air filter once a month to ensure that your system is running efficiently. A dirty filter will cause your unit to work harder than it needs to, which can cause your utility bills to go up — the last thing you want to deal with around the holidays! Dirty filters also reduce the air quality in your home, and can eventually lead to system damage.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas that’s deadly when inhaled. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, sudden weakness, nausea and headache. It’s incredibly important to make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working at all times, especially during the winter months.
Be aware of any changes in your system, and make sure that you’re taking steps toward preventing HVAC issues from occurring this holiday season. If you haven’t had a maintenance visit in the last six months, now is the perfect time to schedule one!
The team at Middleton Heat & Air is here to take care of all of your HVAC needs this winter. If you notice any trouble signs coming from your unit, give us a call at 1-800-404-0371. You can also visit us online for more information about the Middleton team.