Preparing your home for the cold weather

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you haven't turned on your heater yet, you probably will Tuesday night. But have you had your heater inspected? There are some warning signs you should not ignore.

Owner of One Hour Heading & Air Conditioning in Baton Rouge, Jim Wilson, says he and his team have cleared their schedules to respond to any issues customers might have with their heaters. They are expecting between 50 and 70 no-heat calls by Wednesday morning.

Technician Matthew Rick is already making his rounds and inspecting heating units in several homes.

He performs a two-part test. First he uses a monitor to make sure the furnace is running properly. If that is working as it should, he then checks to make sure there are no leaks.

"We'll spray this spray into the path of the air we're breathing and it will locate the heat exchanger. If there is an issue it will allow flames to change colors indicating there's an issue," said Rick.

Wilson says it is important for all homeowners to get their heating systems cleaned and inspected at least once a year. In the meantime, he says there are some flags people should not ignore.

"If they do hear funny sounds, get strange odors, things like that, that could be signs that things are not working quite properly," said Wilson.

He says it could mean there is a potential fire hazard somewhere, or a carbon monoxide leak. That is why he says it is best to hire a professional.

"The tools are critical that you use, many do visual test but not spray test or possible video or camera inspection of the heater, as well as proper tools like a carbon monoxide detector," said Wilson.

He says the technicians are equipped with the skills and tools to make sure the units they check are safe and ready for winter.

A typical inspection will cost between $59 and $119.


From St. George Fire Protection District:

If you are lighting your fireplace, make sure your flue is open and unobstructed and that your chimney is free from creosote residue. Creosote is a residue that accumulates when soft woods, such as pine are burned. When it ignites inside the chimney, it burns very hot.

Also, when disposing of fireplace ashes, make sure they are COLD. Please do not scoop the ashes and embers up and place them directly in your plastic garbage can and then put that against the back wall of your home or under the carport or both.

A lot of electric space heaters are likely to be in use over the next few days, as well. Be careful not to put them too close to the bedding or drapes or a tablecloth, or your clothing hanging on the back of a chair.

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