Heating problems during the winter are often emergencies, especially when outdoor temps fall below zero. The last thing you want is an unwelcome surprise. Here are some of the most common emergency winter heating repairs to plan ahead for and how the qualified HVAC experts at Jones Services can help.
Carbon monoxide is an incredibly dangerous combustion byproduct. You could be at risk if you have a wood stove or gas heat. As the wood or gas burns, carbon monoxide gets into the air. In small amounts, this usually isn’t a problem. But if you have poor ventilation in your home, the gas can build up and cause headaches, fatigue, and in severe cases, exposure can be fatal.
Prepare for CO emergency this winter by installing detectors that will alarm you if concentrations of the toxic gas in your air get too high. You can also improve your home’s ventilation and have your system inspected before winter is well underway to make sure there aren’t any obvious problems.
If you have propane or natural gas heat, be on the lookout for any signs of a leak. This could be faint hissing sounds or the smell of rotten eggs in the air. This is a very serious emergency that requires quick action. In extreme cases where a gas leak has been allowed to build up and there’s a source of ignition nearby, there could be an explosion.
You should have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in multiple areas of your house. Your heating equipment and gas lines should also be inspected at the start of the winter season. If there is any damage, don’t wait for the leak to happen. Have any problems repaired before you turn the system on.
It’s also important to know what to do in an emergency. If you smell gas in your home, you should:
- Get children to safety. If you have children, get them outside as soon as possible. Their circulatory systems are small and more susceptible to exposure.
- Open the windows and doors. As you’re exiting the house, throw open the windows or leave the door open on your way out. This allows gas to ventilate and prevents it from building up.
- Call for help. Once you and your family are safe, you should call the fire department and your gas supplier for help. Don’t go back inside until it’s been cleared by emergency personnel.
While wood stoves and space heaters can provide quick warmth, they’re a pretty significant fire hazard. Space heaters can catch furniture and drapes nearby on fire, while wood heat emits sparks and hot ash that could ignite rugs and other flammable objects.
If you have space heaters or a wood stove, it’s crucial to have a fire safety protocol with your family. Keep fire extinguishers nearby and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them.
Set up smoke detectors near sources of heating to hopefully catch the start of a home fire early enough that you can put it out or get help before your house is engulfed. You may also want to have escape ladders on upper floors and ways to call for help even if you can’t get to your phone.
While not a heating problem per se, frozen pipes are an emergency nonetheless. If your pipes freeze, you won’t be able to get water for cooking or washing – and your pipes might burst (which is a really big problem). This is because water expands when it freezes, which takes up more space than your pipes can accommodate.
Before the weather gets too cold (definitely before the first frost), you should insulate pipes under your sink, in your crawlspace, underneath your house, and outdoors. You can use special pipe insulation for the job or even pool noodles cut in half and duct taped around the pipes if you have nothing else.
On extremely cold days, you should leave faucets dripping ever so slightly to relieve pressure caused by ice formation and keep them from freezing over completely.
At Jones Services, we know how challenging it can be to find affordable and reliable heating for your home. With a ductless system, you don’t have to worry about fires, gas leaks, or serious winter heating repairs – instead, you can just enjoy efficient, precisely-controlled comfort everywhere in your home. Contact us today to learn more at (845) 289-8532.