Winter is here, and as the temperature drops, our reliance on the furnace — and occasionally the portable home generator — increases to keep the chill at bay. While these appliances are winter warriors, it's essential to prioritize safety to avoid any unwanted surprises. Keep these tips in mind to help your winter stay warm and worry-free.
Portable home generator safety tips
Let's talk about that trusty portable generator that comes to the rescue when the power takes a winter vacation. It's a lifesaver, but only if used correctly.
Location, location, location
Your generator needs some breathing space. Set it up outdoors in a well-ventilated area, keeping it at least 20 feet away from doors, windows, and vents. Never — and I mean never — run that generator in an enclosed space: A garage might seem like a cozy spot, but it's a no-go zone: Proper ventilation is your shield against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Fuel is the lifeblood of your generator, but mishandling it can lead to spills and even fires. Store fuel in approved containers away from the generator and follow fueling procedures diligently.
When connecting appliances, opt for outdoor-rated extension cords, and plug them directly into the generator. If you're feeling fancy, get a transfer switch installed by an electrician. It's like a VIP pass for your appliances!
Just like any relationship, your generator needs some TLC. Regularly inspect and maintain it per the manufacturer's guidelines — a well-maintained generator is a reliable generator.
Faithful maintenance for your furnace
Now let's cozy up to the unsung hero of winter — the furnace. It works hard to keep you warm, so let's show it some love.
Before winter goes full swing, schedule a ‘hot’ date with a qualified technician for an annual furnace inspection. It’s like giving your furnace a spa day — pamper it, and it'll pamper you right back.
Ventilate and chill
Furnaces need room to breathe, too. Ensure proper ventilation to avoid a buildup of gases like carbon monoxide. Check those vents and flues to keep the air flowing smoothly.
Don't forget to change the furnace filter regularly. A fresh filter improves your indoor air quality and efficiency, keeping your furnace happy and your air fresh.
Seal the leaks
Drafty windows and doors can make your furnace work harder than necessary. Seal those gaps to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
Winter is a season of warmth, and with a little attention to safety, you can enjoy the coziness without the worry. So, gear up, cozy down, and let the winter vibes begin – safely!