natural gas smellWinter is here, so that furnace is running and keeping us toasty. Throughout the rest of the year, the furnace isn’t used very much, which can lead to accidental maintenance neglect.

This can lead to heating problems, which will leave your house chilly and your energy bill high! It can also lead to problems much more sinister.

During the winter, carbon monoxide poisoning is at its highest. While the natural gas smell may be unmistakable, the gas is also colorless, odorless, tasteless, and potentially fatal. Fighting an invisible poison might seem fruitless, but there are some commonsensical ways to combat carbon monoxide.

Maintain Your Detector
The easiest way to combat carbon monoxide is to keep a detector (or two) in your house. What most people forget is that battery powered things–such as these detectors–aren’t everlasting. Too many carbon monoxide poisoning cases point directly at a detector’s batteries not being changed. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly and replaced according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

While we’re on the topic, change your smoke detector batteries, too. Some carbon monoxide detectors plug into the wall. Be sure they run on battery backup. You’ll want to be protected if the power goes out. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in both each time your clock changes. Timely carbon monoxide detection stops the problem before it’s harmful.

Get Professional About Your Appliances
You’re not an HVAC company, so as much as you can prepare your home for the winter, they’re the ones who know what’s going on. If you’re not confident about winter preparation, do not hesitate to contact a professional. They’ll give you peace of mind before the winter hits. Even if you are confident in your abilities, safety is recommended above all else.

Use Your Head
If you have external generators, grills, or any number of gas lit devices, these should not be used indoors! When used outdoors, they should be far away from doors, windows, and intake vents. Burning anything without ventilation is asking for trouble. The same goes for cars. We know it’s cold outside, but never start your car and let it warm up in the garage. Even if the garage is open. A little extra chill is worth the health safety of your home.

Whether it be carbon monoxide, natural gas smell, or just the energy ghost of holidays present, stay smart and keep your castle safe and warm this winter.