Written on: September 29, 2021
As the weather turns colder, we’ll be spending more time indoors and begin using our home’s heating systems.
While heating oil has a strong safety record, there are still risks you need to watch for. Here are some of them.
Heating oil cannot burn in its liquid state. For combustion to happen, heating oil must be vaporized by your oil burner at temperatures over 140˚ Fahrenheit. Heating oil cannot explode, either. A lit match dropped into heating oil it would be extinguished like if you’d dropped it into water.
The fumes from heating oil are not as dangerous as natural gas or propane. But they are by no means safe for long exposure. Short-term exposure to heating oil might induce headaches, nausea, and dizziness; long-term exposure can result in serious health issues.
That is why preventing heating oil leaks in your home is essential. That starts with your heating oil tank. Have it and the fuel line to your furnace or boiler professionally inspected and serviced regularly. Also, keep an eye out for signs of impending heating oil tank failure, including:
Contact us right away if you see one or more of these problems with your heating oil tank.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a normal by-product of the combustion process in your home’s heating system. The carbon monoxide produced by that combustion is kept within the heat exchanger and then vented safely outside of your house if your furnace or boiler is functioning properly.
The most common reason for carbon monoxide leaks in the heating system is damage to the heat exchanger or flue exhaust vent. Another possible source of carbon monoxide is a dirty heating component, such as a filter.
Carbon monoxide buildup in your home can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Each year, more than 20,000 people end up in the emergency room with CO poisoning. About 4,000 are hospitalized and sadly, 400 people die.
Carbon monoxide detectors are the most effective approach to prevent CO accumulation in your house. They must be installed on every floor of your home, including the basement, as well as outside all sleeping areas.
When you change your clocks, test your carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries twice a year. Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. If you’re not sure how old your carbon monoxide detector is, don’t risk it. Replace it right away.
Another way to prevent this is to have your home’s heating system professionally maintained with an annual tune-up. Your furnace or boiler will run properly, and our service technicians will find any problems before they become worse and create potentially hazardous conditions.
Have questions about safety and your home’s equipment and energy? Contact us and we’ll help in any way we can.