This week has been a week of crazy weather throughout the United States. Many states which don’t normally see much in the way of winter weather have been hit with record breaking low temps and snow. If you have been watching the news, you may have seen that most of Texas has been without power for several days due to the extreme cold temps. Massachusetts has experienced mostly rain this week, but not to worry, our turn is coming! Here is a headline from one weather website I visited earlier today:
Storm to bring up to 8 inches of snow to Massachusetts Thursday through Friday!
If you’re like me, when I see those headlines, I want to make sure I’m ready for it. Following are some things I do in my home to prepare for nasty winter weather:
- Check doors and windows for drafts. If you don’t have time to change the worn out weather stripping, a rolled up towel will do the trick for now.
- Check the furnace, does it seem to be running smoothly? Have I had it cleaned and inspected recently? Is there stuff piled up around it? Is there a draft nearby that might extinguish the pilot light?
- Check my thermostat. Is it working properly? Have I changed the battery recently?
- CO detector and alarm. During these months that we are locked up inside our homes due to inclement weather, it’s important that the air quality in our homes is healthy. Not sure? Amazon and other stores have air quality monitors and CO detectors that are not too terribly expensive. (Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that can kill you quickly. It is called the “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating.)
- I make sure my generator is ready to go but not too close to a window or door and definitely NEVER inside my house or garage. A sure way to do yourself and your loved ones harm is to have your gas powered generator influencing your indoor air. CO from gas powered generators is deadly and you never want to be breathing it in your house.
- If I decide to use a space heater to supplement my furnace, does it have at least 2-3 feet of space between it and anything else? Every year house fires and deaths occur due to improper use of space heaters.
- For those of you who may end up using your fireplace quite a bit during this type of weather, have you had the chimney cleaned recently? Every year homes burn due to a build up of creosote and other debris in the chimneys. Having your chimney cleaned is essential to your safety. Additionally, only burn hard woods in your fireplace to cut down on deposits in your chimney. One more thing, make sure you open the flu before you use the fireplace. You’d be surprised at how quickly the house fills up with smoke if you forget. If you have a gas fireplace, not opening the flu opens your home up to CO build up.
We at Peter Needham Electrical and HVAC (located in Medford, MA) hope that this checklist is helpful to you and your family in preparing for inclement winter weather. As always, if you have a Heating, Ventilating or Air Conditioning issue or emergency, just call us! We are available 24/7.