Failing to heat your home properly during the winter is a major hazard, especially if you live in a part of the country where temperatures regularly reach extreme lows or you have individuals prone to getting sick in your household. However, heating your house the wrong way can actually be just as hazardous as not heating it at all. There are several dangerous methods you should never use to heat your home, but luckily, our HVAC experts at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical are here to tell you everything you need to know about them.
The 5 Most Dangerous Ways to Heat Your Home:
- The Oven/Stove: It is important to clarify when we talk about stoves here, we’re not talking about wood-burning stoves. These can be used to heat your home, though there are more efficient ways to generate heat, and a wood-burning stove should only be used as your primary heat source if it is located in a space with proper ventilation. What is far more dangerous, however, is trying to use your oven, stove, or any other appliance designed for cooking to generate heat. Not only would this be an extremely inefficient way to warm your space, it may also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Bottom line: if you’re not using your oven and stove for food prep, you shouldn’t be using it for anything.
- The Fireplace: Much like your oven, using a fireplace without proper ventilation can cause a CO leak. On top of this, using your fireplace to heat your entire home is probably going to have the opposite effect you want—i.e. it is more likely to make you colder. Fireplaces let out more heat than they generate, which is why most modern fireplaces are designed to be used for limited periods of time, while you also run your heating system. Of course, fireplaces are still great for creating a comfy, cozy atmosphere, but when it comes to tangible heat, heat you can actually feel, your fireplace simply isn’t going to be able to get the job done.
- Propane or Kerosene Heaters: Propane or kerosene heaters are a fine choice if you are going camping, and need to generate heat in the great outdoors. However, using one of these devices as your primary heat source would be a terrible idea. Portable gas heaters need a lot of ventilation to function safely, otherwise you run the risk of exposing your household to a gas leak. On extremely rare occasions, such as after a major storm or other natural disaster, where you may not even be able to leave your house, you can use a propane or kerosene heater as a temporary solution, as long as it is positioned near a window. But you’ll need something a lot safer not to mention more effective to achieve the level of heating your household requires this holiday season.
- Space Heaters (with Extension Cords): Electric space heaters in and of themselves are fine. They are not particularly efficient, and can really jack up your energy bill, but as long as you aren’t using them while you’re sleeping, they’re a great way to provide some extra heat to a particular room—especially in warmer parts of the country, where it never gets too cold outside. Space heaters can become extremely dangerous though when you pair them with extension cords. The average power strip is not made to withstand the voltage generated by the average space heater. There are a few smaller models you may be able to pair with extension cords, but you should always check the warning label and wattage on your heater before you plug it in. Beyond that, you also run the risk of tripping and falling over cords when you run them throughout the house, so it is better to think twice before using electrical heating devices.
- Malfunctioning HVAC Systems: While the best way to warm up your home is almost always a well-maintained heating system, running equipment that is malfunctioning can be the most dangerous heating method of all. Everything from a dirty filter to a broken wire can cause your heater to have problems. And when these problems go ignored for too long, your heater can become a serious hazard, posing the same type of risk for CO poisoning that we mentioned above. Fortunately, modern heating systems are safer than ever, and it’s never hard to keep your equipment functioning at peak efficiency when you’ve got All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical on your side. Our expert HVAC technicians service furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and more. If your unit is making strange noise, releasing strange smells, constantly cycling on and off, affecting your indoor air quality, or simply failing to provide the reliable heat you need, never hesitate to call us for a repair. And don’t forget, our experts at All Pro are even available 24/7 for emergencies!