Winter HVAC Safety: CO2, Fire, Filter

Winter HVAC Safety: CO2, Fire, Filter

In part one of this two-part blog series, we discussed some important HVAC safety areas to be thinking about during the current cold season. While many of the basic best practices for maintaining HVAC safety are similar or even identical throughout the year, there are certain areas that either become more important or raise new concerns during the winter season in particular. 

At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we're proud to offer a wide range of heater repair and replacement services for clients around Riverton, Bluffdale, Herriman, Lehi and nearby areas. Today's part two of our series will look at a few other winter-specific safety areas that you should have a close eye on this time of year, ensuring everyone in your home stays safe and protected at all times. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

One vital area to be thinking about all winter long is carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can build up in the home if your furnace or other HVAC equipment malfunctions. While our modern furnaces are designed with numerous safety features to avoid this risk, it's still important to take precautions and ensure you have carbon monoxide detectors in place throughout the home.

To be clear, CO2 detectors are important throughout the year. But during winter, when we tend to keep our homes more tightly sealed and use more heating sources, they become even more critical. The same goes for gas stoves or other appliances that produce any level of carbon monoxide - these should be properly vented and checked regularly to ensure they aren't posing a risk.

Fire Hazards

Another area linked very closely with carbon monoxide risks during winter is fire hazards. This risk is increased in a few areas:

  • Dryness: As cold air outside combines with warm, dry air inside, the resulting dryness can make certain materials more susceptible to sparks or other fire risks. For this reason, it's important to maintain proper moisture levels in your home throughout winter.
  • Heater malfunctions: We mentioned furnace malfunctions and carbon monoxide as a major risk above, but these same malfunctions can also cause fires in certain cases. Be sure to check your furnace regularly and have it serviced if needed.
  • Alternative heating sources: Some homeowners use space heaters or other alternative heat sources during winter, especially in isolated rooms. Make sure these are being used safely and aren't posing any fire risks.

Filter Considerations

Once again, regularly changing your HVAC filter is important throughout the year, but even more so during winter when your system is likely running much more frequently. A dirty or clogged filter strains your furnace and can lead to efficiency problems, plus it might even pose a fire hazard. In addition, clean filters help prevent pollutants from spreading through the home.

Snow Buildup

Finally, while not directly related to HVAC safety, snow buildup can create hazards around your outdoor HVAC equipment. Be sure to clear away any snow or ice that accumulates on or near these systems, and keep an eye on the area regularly.

HVAC safety is important throughout the year, but there are certain areas that become even more vital during winter months. Ensure you have working carbon monoxide detectors in place, watch for fire hazards, change your filter regularly and address snow buildup around outdoor equipment. If you need any heater repairs, furnace tune-ups or new furnace services this winter, we're here to help at Airtime Heating & Cooling!