The Main Stream

Oct 21, 2010 9:12 AM

Preparing your heater for cool weather

TUCSON - It is finally starting to cool down here in Tucson and you may be tempted to turn on the heat inside your home. But before you do it is important to make sure everything is running as it should.

"We make sure all that dust and dirt is out of there as best we can," Ron Rendon, maintenance technician with D&H Air Conditioning and Heating, said.

Rendon is taking on a home heating system that has not been fired up in a while.

"We spray this on the edges where the pipe joints are and if it bubbles up, it lets us know that there's a leak there," Rendon said.

If there is a leak it could run up your gas bill and could pose a serious safety risk.

After making sure the heating system works, Rendon checks the home for carbon monoxide. Both technicians and firefighters recommend having your own carbon monoxide detector in your house.

"Even if you have a brand new unit, it's one of those life and death things and you would rather be safe than sorry," Rendon said.

"Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that kills and you wouldn't even know it. So a carbon monoxide detector is going to be able to pick it up where people cannot," Capt. Adam Goldberg with the Northwest Fire Department said.

Goldberg also says if your heater is in a closet in the house, that space should not be used as a storage area. Never put anything on top of or next to your heating unit.

"There's some temperature, there's some warmth to this tube so if I kept a lot of towels or or linens or bedding stuffed in here, that heat transfers, and potentially can catch a fire," Goldberg said.

When you turn on your heater for the first time this season, you might smell a little burning. Experts say it is the smell of dirt and dust burning off in your vents and is normal. If you see smoke or the smell does not go away, call 911.

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